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Maxime Zecchini: A French marvel in left-hand piano repertoire

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By Siddhi Jain

New Delhi, Sep 19 (IANSlife) French classical pianist Maxime Zecchini, who is among the handful of musicians all over the globe to practise the ‘left hand repertoire’ and play works with just five fingers, as opposed to both the hands, says that it is a delight to share this music with his audience.

“I had discovered this repertoire 20 years ago playing the most famous pieces for the left hand, the Concerto of Maurice Ravel. I did some research on the internet and I have seen that there are a lot of works for the left hand, about 600 pieces. And very few recordings.

“So, I have proposed a discographic label to record the first and unique Anthology in the world for the left hand with 10 CD’s. I have already recorded 8 discs and the complete anthology will be available at the end of 2021. I have recorded a lot of musical styles inside this CD’s: classical music, contemporary music, chamber’s music, concertos with orchestra, film music, etc,” Zecchini, born in 1979, told IANSlife in an email.

About his repertoire, he says, “the wonder of having the impression of hearing two hands when only five fingers were playing fascinated me. These pieces demonstrate the immense possibilities of the left hand. Thanks to the arrangement of left-hand fingers, its natural flexibility, and the powerful register in the bass of the keyboard, it can even make the piano sound like an orchestra! I am very happy to be able to discover the undeniable poetic richness of this original, virtuoso, and spectacular repertoire.”

Zecchini had completed his 15-day India tour in India in 2016, where he demonstrated the not just the unique repertoire but his masterful skill at it. He will be performing again for the Indian audience in a virtual concert by Alliance Francaise de Delhi (AFD) on September 19. The evening concert will be streamed on AFD’s Facebook and YouTube pages, and will feature the most celebrated piano pieces for the left hand.

Asked how big of a community do left-handed pianists make, the musician says: “We are just three or four pianists in the world to play these works. It’s a delight for me to share this music with the audience, who are always curious and enthusiastic.”

After spending a lot of time at my home without concerts and travels due to COVID-19, Zecchini will also play in front of an audience in Barcelona, Spain, in a concert. Here, he says he will be performing French compositions of Debussy, Ravel, Michel Legrand and other famous French songs.

What are his thoughts on cultural exchanges via music? “I love cultural exchanges via music. For example, when I played in India some years ago, I discovered the music of Bollywood with a lot of beautiful songs. It was totally new for me and this music is very beautiful and romantic! I have listened to these songs on YouTube and written an arrangement for my concert which made the audience very emotional. It’s very enriching for me to discover new melodies and new ways of expressing artistically.”

He concludes by saying that he finds Indian music very romantic and melodious. “I don’t know very well the Indian music for piano and keyboard but I hope with all my heart to discover and listen to a lot of beautiful pieces if I have the chance to play again in India.”

The award winning pianist is slated to make his debut at Carnegie Hall in New York in April 2021.

(Siddhi Jain can be contacted at [email protected])



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