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Listen to the first track from Ólafur Arnalds' reimagining of Chopin

09 February 2015, 10:00 | Written by Paul Bridgewater

"'Verses' is actually the first song on the album and is kind of an introduction," says Ólafur Arnalds, talking to Best Fit about the track he's chosen to tease new record The Chopin Project, which sees him working with acclaimed German-Japanese pianist Alice Sara Ott.

Arnalds' approach to reinventing the work of the 19th-Century Polish composer sees him using old, unusual and altered pianos captured on vintage recording equipment and mixing techniques that re-enforce feelings of solitude or loneliness and create dreamlike ambient soundscapes.

"Verses is a new composition by me which uses the famous right hand motif from Piano Sonata No3 (Largo) and is followed by that part of that Sonata in its original version played on the piano by Alice," Arnalds explains. "So you hear the motif first recomposed arranged for a string quartet and then just a couple of minutes you will hear it in it's original state played on the piano.

"With this i wanted to show listeners quite clearly what i was doing with 'Verses', which they might not realise is composed around a motif from the sonata unless they hear the original sonata next to it."

The Chopin Project is released via Mercury Classics on 16 March; pre-order from iTunes, Amazon and Google Play

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