Pianist Alejandra Cifuentes-Diaz to perform in Pierrefonds-Roxboro
By Kevin Woodhouse
For the last 12 years, concert organizer Michel Corbeil has been presenting piano concerts lit by candlelight in order to evoke that days of old where there was no electricity and concert goers sat in almost total darkness and listening to classical music.
This year, Corbeil is once again bringing his show to the West Island where pianist Alejandra Cifuentes-Diaz will perform the known hits of Frederic Chopin at the Marie Reine de la Paix church in Pierrefonds-Roxboro.
Corbeil began the Chopin concert series three years ago to celebrate Chopin’s birth in 1810 and has completed a tour of the province, delighting audiences including 350 attendees at a recent concert in Laval.
“You will discover Chopin and his Music in a new setting, as it has never before been performed,” explained Corbeil. “Just imagine listening to one of his nocturnes sitting in a church illuminated only by candles, or his first Ballad, or his famous Heroic Polonaise!”
While Corbeil and Cifuentes-Diaz have been impressed by the audience reactions, Corbeil was not too surprised about music lovers being interested in hearing Chopin in such a serene setting. “I spoke to a German record producer who told me that any CD that has Chopin on the cover still sells very well,” Corbeil told The Suburban.
Because Chopin played many live performances in the 1830s and 40s, he could only be seen by candlelight which is one of the reasons Corbeil chose to hold the candlelight concerts. “I also tell anecdotes about Chopin between pieces to give people some background into his live.”
One of Corbeil’s preferred stories about the pianist was when he played a special concert for England’s Queen Victoria. “Chopin would never play if there was noise in the hall,” said Corbeil. “He would only play if there was absolute silence. After the room was quiet, he began to play a waltz. The Queen stood up to dance and so everyone else in the great hall stood up to dance as well.”
There will also be photos of Chopin, his piano and tombstone and the pictures will be set up like a museum exposition for attendees to enjoy during the intermission.
Cifuentes Diaz has performed more than 30 candlelight concerts in the last two years and has recently released a CD called “…under candle lights.”
Tickets for the Frederic Chopin’s Greatest Masterpieces concert by candlelight are $25 each and is taking place on Saturday, Aug. 31 at Marie Reine de la Paix church at 11,075 Gouin Blvd. West. For ticket information visit www.concertchandelle.com or call  419-9148.
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