Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 11, II: Romanze-Larghetto

This week, my sweety and I finished watching a British detective program we’d started watching in mid-March. (And I promise, there are no spoiler alerts in this post, only information similar to what you’d find in the advert for the show.)

In the mini-series Collision (2009), Scottish actor Douglas Henshall plays the police detective-inspector leading a multiple-vehicle road collision. He’s someone we recognized (along with several other ITV and BBC series players in the show) from his detective role in Shetland (2013). In five episodes that feature flashbacks and flashes forward, Collision looks into the lives of a group of strangers involved in the crash.

It was nearly two weeks before we could watch the final episode, as I’d run out of free credits in my membership to Kanopy. It’s (yet another) video streaming service, but one that bills itself as “thoughtful entertainment.” Kanopy is available through many public libraries, colleges and universities (check to see if your library is a member!). There is a lot of terrific content in their digital collection, and one receives five free credits per month (some libraries offer up to ten). The downside is that if you find something outstanding that is a multiple-episode series, you’ll run into the same thing as us, as Kanopy doesn’t allow one to buy extra credits. I think that would be a worthwhile option.

During the closing scene of the final episode of Collision, a piano concerto played as the soundtrack. Sweety said to me, “Can you find out what that is? That’s got to be your song of the day this Sunday!” So I backed up the play and Shazamed it, learning it was the second movement from the Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor, Opus 11 by Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849). It is a perfect piece for the mood and context of the scene.

Chopin is a favourite. I’ve featured works by him before on this blog: a ballade, a larghetto (from his second piano concerto) and, last week for World Piano Day, a nocturne… please check out those linked posts; the pieces are beautiful, as is today’s selection.

The miracle of Shazam told me that Portuguese-Swiss pianist Maria João Pires performed the piece on her 1979 album, Chopin: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2. Searching for Pires on YouTube, I found the same version, in which the Orchestre National de l’Opéra de Monte-Carlo, conducted by Armin Jordan (1932-2006, of Switzerland), was her accompaniment.

And, as I sit here, I can hear birds chirping since the front door is open so that Perry Como the inside cat can go watch them from the safety of the screened porch after pursuing rabbits and squirrels from window to window all winter. So, I think I’ll leave it there for now and join him in enjoying this Easter Sunday afternoon. Have a wonderful day!

Now you know a little about why this is my Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.

Here’s the video for the song from the Maria João Pires YouTube topic channel:

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