Chad Lawson's Variations on Chopin at Le Poisson Rouge + CBS Sunday Morning Interview [YouTube Videos]

Zac Lavender

by Zac Lavender

Published September 1, 2015

Chad Lawson was featured on CBS Sunday Morning recently. Below you can watch a web exclusive live performance as well as the feature segment from the television show.

Chad Lawson plays variations to Chopin's "Nocturne in E Flat Major, Op. 9, No. 2" at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City, September 2014
CBS Sunday Morning: Chad Lawson puts his own touch on Chopin

For die-hard traditionalists, Lawson's treatment of Chopin may be a tough pill to swallow; but for Lawson, combining improvisation and classical repertoire seemed like a no-brainer. His love of music began at an early age after watching Sha-na-na on television, eventually taking his studies to Berklee College of Music in Boston where he shifted his focus to jazz. Since leaving college, Lawson has made a name for himself as a pianist and composer; receiving rave reviews from critics and audience alike. Recently, his 2014 album, The Chopin Variations, became the #1 seller on iTunes Classical.

Tony Norman of the Pittsburgh-Gazette hailed The Chopin Variations as "The classical cd for people that hate classical music." Lawson's love of classical music, however, is apparent in his performance. Chad Lawson's subtle touch of improvisation engenders a new layer of minimalist transparency. On a first listen, his "Variations on Chopin" could easily be mistaken for a Debussy piano solo due to the contemplativeness and minutiae of his performance. Lawson's subdued virtuosity expands upon Chopin's harmonies, giving the listener a chance to better appreciate the meditative climate of the original work.

Lawson relates his minimalist approach to improvisation back to earlier in his career when he played on tour with Julio Iglesias, stating he didn't have to play much, "because that's all the song needed."

The Chopin Variations are not a substitute for these beloved masterpieces but rather a new perspective on classical repertoire, continuing the genre of chamber music without losing its sense of tradition.

The Chopin Variations is available on Amazon (CD, MP3).

For Chad Lawson's latest music, news, and tour dates, check out his Zumic artist page.

Source: CBS Sunday Morning YouTube

Chad Lawson
Classical Jazz
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