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Amateur Pianist


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Amateur Pianist


Louis wants to live in a world where exercise comes in pill form and there are no consequences for binge eating sweets.  Outside of that fantasy he works during the day speaking mostly in acronyms while keeping the world connected through various intricate technologies.

When he’s not routing ones and zeros around the globe he strives to be a pianist.  He started studying music as an adult in the summer of 2004.  After having attended a symposium for pianists at Princeton University he met the person who would ultimately become his teacher.  Louis spends as much free time as possible learning new repertoire and perfecting his technique.  

Explore this site and learn more about the music, check out some photography, or watch videos of Louis performing pieces from the baroque, classical, romantic, and contemporary solo piano repertoire.

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Currently learning


Currently learning


Frédéric Chopin, Nocturne in C minor Op. 48 No. 1

The melody of the Nocturne in C minor unfolds lento and mezzo voce (slowly and half-voice). The opening notes do not flow, but fall – amid rests – like words of existential weight. Tadeusz Zieliński aptly opines that the melody of the Nocturne ‘sounds like a lofty, inspired song filled with the gravity of its message, genuine pathos and a tragic majesty’. With every bar, the melody moves closer to the point of culmination, before plummeting downwards in a tense, expressively rhapsodic recitative and immersing itself in the contemplative sounds of a chorale. The chorale grows in strength, despite the fact that the violent music of double octaves forces its way in between its chords. André Gide called this moment ‘the sudden irruption of wind-blasts’. For the reprise of the opening theme, Gide found the following description: ‘a triumph of the spiritual element over the elements unleashed at the beginning’.  There is indeed something uniquely grand in the way the form here masters the emotions, which are packed with sound.

Kleczyński heard in this music ‘the soul’s disquietude’.  Marceli Antoni Szulc had the impression that ‘this magnificent hymn is proclaimed not by a feeble piano, but by a mighty organ – midst the sound of trombones and kettle drums’.  Ferdynand Hoesick recalled that the C minor Nocturne in Paderewski’s rendition gave the impression of a true ‘eroica’ among Chopin’s nocturnes.

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Planned Next Piece


Planned Next Piece


 

Sergei Rachmaninoff, Variations on a Theme of Corelli

Variations on a Theme of Corelli is set of variations for solo piano, written in 1931 by the Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff. He composed them at his holiday home in Switzerland.

The theme is La Folia, which was not in fact composed by Arcangelo Corelli, but was used by him in 1700 as the basis for 23 variations in his Sonata for violin and continuo (violone and/or harpsichord) in D minor, Op. 5, No. 12. La Folia was popularly used as the basis for variations in Baroque music. Franz Liszt used the same theme in his Rhapsodie espagnole S. 254 (1863).

Rachmaninoff dedicated the work to his friend the violinist Fritz Kreisler. He wrote to another friend, the composer Nikolai Medtner, on 21 December 1931:

I've played the Variations about fifteen times, but of these fifteen performances only one was good. The others were sloppy. I can't play my own compositions! And it's so boring! Not once have I played these all in continuity. I was guided by the coughing of the audience. Whenever the coughing would increase, I would skip the next variation. Whenever there was no coughing, I would play them in proper order. In one concert, I don't remember where - some small town - the coughing was so violent that I played only ten variations (out of 20). My best record was set in New York, where I played 18 variations. However, I hope that you will play all of them, and won't "cough".

Rachmaninoff recorded many of his own works, but not this piece.

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