Preface by Nikolay Khozyainov
I am presenting you with my transcription of the “Humming Chorus” from Puccini’s opera “Madama Butterfly”, one of the most touching, fragilely beautiful works ever written.
This Chorus comes at a moment of quiet happiness, of expectation; our hearts are full of light and hope. Butterfly and Suzuki have just seen the ship of Pinkerton, they have just been preparing the room for his arrival.
The place is full of poignant love. Butterfly can hardly control herself as she is so overwhelmed with emotions. The night has been growing darker and darker, but Butterfly keeps waiting for her beloved like she has been doing for the last 3 years. She is not sleeping; she doesn’t want to miss the happiest moment.
The very fruit of her passion, the physical reincarnation of her love – her child – is also there in the room.
We find ourselves immersed in magical scents; petals of roses, violets and lilies are all around us. The music is so intangible that we can feel the mystery and perfumes of Butterfly’s room with all our senses.
One of the reasons I love piano is that using this instrument I can create an illusion of any instrument of the orchestra and even of a human voice. I was thinking for some time about how I could make a sonorous image of a singing with a closed mouth, a magical atmosphere of expectation, of the falling night and an overjoyed heart.
I used tremolo for this mystical purpose.
This music is like a mirage, it appears before us for a fleeting moment, full of longing for the future that will never come. Like petals of cherry blossoms that bloom so briefly yet are so full of magic which we are never able to seize, not even for an instant.
Nikolay Khozyainov is one of the most remarkable pianists of the world. His musicality and formidable technique have thrilled audiences across the planet, his recitals and concerto engagements include sold out performances on all continents at the world’s foremost stages such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, Kennedy Center in Washington, Wigmore Hall in London, The Louvre and Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Salle Gaveau in Paris, Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, Sydney Opera House, Tonhalle in Zurich, Palazzo Quirinale in Rome, Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, the United Nations and many others.
Maestro Khozyainov has been honored by numerous presidents and heads of state, great cultural and political figures. In January 2018, the Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan celebrated Nikolay at his concert in Tokyo’s Suntory Hall. In 2022 he was knighted by the Spanish Royal Family as Knight Commander.
Khozyainov has performed with the London Philharmonia Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Czech National Symphony Orchestra, Russian State Symphony Orchestra, Russian Philharmonic Orchestra, The Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland among many others.