this nocturne IMHO is very close in spirit to Rachmaninoff Prelude G Major . Though neither composer gave any title or a program to both works – it is very much about the nature in its beauty-and its fury. It is less about human emotions and introspective – and more about contemplating the beauty of our world. Think of it as a clear and bright May day interrupted for a moment by downpouring rain, thunder and wind gusts – only to return moments later to a peace and serenity. Beethoven did it in Pastoral symphony and inspired countless imitators LOL
Lisitsa was born in Kiev, Ukraine, in 1973. She started playing the piano at the age of three, performing her first solo recital at the age of four. She is of Russian and Polish descent.
Despite her early disposition to music, her dream at that point was to become a professional chess player. Lisitsa attended the Lysenko music school for Gifted Children and, later, Kiev Conservatory, where she and her future husband, Alexei Kuznetsoff, studied under Dr. Ludmilla Tsvierko. It was when Lisitsa met Kuznetsoff that she began to take music more seriously. In 1991, they won the first prize in The Murray Dranoff Two Piano Competition in Miami, Florida. That same year, they moved to the United States to further their careers as concert pianists. In 1992 the couple married. Their New York debut was at the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center in 1995.
After the death of her manager, and with the thought that she was “just another blonde Russian pianist,” Lisitsa almost gave up on her career as a concert pianist, and contemplated working as a translator for the CIA, but changed her mind at the last minute, influenced by one of her new fans in England. Lisitsa posted her first YouTube video in 2007, gaining even more online attention after uploading her own set of Chopin etudes online for free (in response to an illegal upload of the same set beforehand). Her set of Chopin etudes reached the number one slot on Amazon’s classical video recordings, and became the most-viewed online set of Chopin etudes on YouTube.
Furthering her career, Lisitsa and her husband put their life savings in recording a CD of Rachmaninov concertos with the London Symphony Orchestra in 2010. In the spring of 2012, before her Royal Albert Hall debut, Lisitsa was signed on to Decca Records, who later released her Rachmaninov CD set. By mid-2012 she had nearly 50 million views on her YouTube videos.
Lisitsa said that the orchestra threatened her if she spoke about the cancellation. According to Paul Grod, president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress: “Ms. Lisitsa has been engaged in a long campaign on social media belittling, insulting and disparaging the people of Ukraine as they face direct military aggression at the hands of the Russian Federation“. Grod elaborated that “Most disturbing are Ms. Lisitsa’s false allegations that the government of Ukraine is ‘Nazi,’ and stating that the Government of Ukraine is setting up ‘filtration camps.'” The New Jersey-based Ukrainian Weekly has described her postings as “anti-Ukraine hate speech.” In response she commented that “satire and hyperbole [are] the best literary tools to combat the lies”. On 8 April 2015, the CEO of Toronto Symphony, Jeff Melanson provided a PDF document of seven pages listing the most “offensive” tweets. Melanson alleged that the document “would help people understand why we made this decision, and understand as well how this is not a free speech issue, but rather an issue of someone practicing very intolerant and offensive expression through twitter.” On 22 June 2015, marking the 74th anniversary of the beginning of Operation Barbarossa, Lisitsa gave an open-air concert-requiem in Donetsk city in commemoration to the defenders, and in a speech she expressed support for the people living in Donbass region in their “anti-fascist war”.
In late August 2015, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines decided to remove Lisitsa’s recordings from the in-flight entertainment program, because of her support for the pro-Russian separatists that are considered responsible for taking down flight MH17.
Lisitsa has recorded six CDs for Audiofon Records, including three solo CDs and two discs of duets with her husband Alexei Kuznetsoff; a Gold CD for CiscoMusic label with cellist DeRosa; a duet recital on VAI label with violinist Ida Haendel; and DVDs of Frédéric Chopin’s 24 Etudes, Schubert–LisztSchwanengesang.
Her recording of the 4 sonatas for violin and piano by composer Charles Ives, made with Hahn, was released in October 2011 on Deutsche Grammophon label. Her album “Valentina Lisitsa Live at the Royal Albert Hall” (based on her debut performance at that venue 19 June 2012) was released 2 July 2012.
Lisitsa has recently recorded several projects from the composers Rachmaninoff, Liszt, Chopin, and Beethoven. Her complete album of Rachmaninoff concertos was released in October 2012 by Decca Records. An album of Liszt works was released in October 2013 on Decca label in 2 formats – CD and 12″ LP which was cut unedited from analog tape. An even more recent album comprises a number of works of the composer and pianist Philip Glass.