This week’s episode of Piano takes us to Warsaw for the start of the Chopin Competition! Pianists from all around the world have gathered for a chance to showcase their amazing piano skills! Will Kai’s piano hold up against such stiff competition or will he crack under pressure? Keep reading to find out!
Japanese Original Episode Title: ワルシャワの胎動
Every five years Warsaw hosts the International Chopin Piano Competition, pianists from around the world gather to compete in hopes of gaining worldwide acclaim. Kai and Shuuhei are among this year’s competitors, friendships will be tested as both attempt to make a name for themselves.
The Meeting between Ajino and Rei: Piano no Mori has more than its fair share of emotional moments, and this week’s episode is no different. Ajino goes to see Kai’s mother before he leaves for Warsaw and it really hits you in the feels, both represent the two phases of Kai’s life: his past in the red light district and his future as a pianist.
Kai in the Pre Qualifiers: Unlike most of his peers, Kai rarely experiences stage fright or doubts his playing abilities. But, for the first time since the Mozart incident at the Junior Piano Competition, Kai gets nervous during a performance!
Good luck charm: Before sending Ajino off to Warsaw, Rei gives him a piece of the forest piano for him to give to Kai… for luck.
Themes & Trivia
Mermaid of Warsaw: In the first scenes of the episode a statue is shown, that statue is the Mermaid of Warsaw. There are several mermaid statues throughout the city, but the statue shown in the episode is the one located in Warsaw’s Old Town. The mermaid is the symbol of Warsaw and the subject of many myths and legends in the city. She is said to protect the city
Chopin Monument: When he arrives in Warsaw, Kai stops by the Chopin Monument in the Royal Baths Park (Łazienki Park). The monument is a large bronze statue of Polish pianist and composer Frédéric Chopin. The statue was erected in 1926, but was destroyed in 1940 by German soldiers occupying Warsaw during World War II. A replica was constructed and now stands on the site of the original monument.
Now Playing: There were quite a few of Chopin’s musical pieces played in this week’s episode:
- Etude Op. 25, No. 10: Composed in 1835, it is known for having a distinctive ternary form in which the first theme is repeated after the second. However, in this composition, the second theme is repeated four times, incorporating elements of the first in each repetition.
- Etude Op. 10, No. 1: Kai’s first piece in the pre-qualifiers. This etude was composed in 1830 and is known for its technical difficulty.
- Etude Op. 25, No. 5: Due to its dissonant sound this etude has earned the name “Wrong Note” and serves as a departure from Chopin’s past etude style.
- Ballade No. 4, Op. 52: Composed in 1842, the ballade style was one created by Chopin himself and remains one of his most enduring compositions.
International Chopin Piano Competition: Also known simply as the Chopin Competition, is an international piano competition held every five years in the birthplace (Warsaw) of Polish composer and pianist, Frédéric Chopin.
This episode had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish! As a former musician, I know all too well how it feels to play on a stage during a competition; the racing thoughts, the sweats, the nerves, the adrenaline rush… and I felt all of that and more when Kai first took to the stage in the pre-qualifying round. I kid you not, my hands were shaking, because I knew exactly how he felt in that moment walking onto that stage and honestly, it’s terrifying! No matter how much you practice or prepare or how many years you’ve been playing, you never quite get over being nervous…
I also want to note that the longer this series goes on, the less I like Shuuhei. I get it, he wants to beat Kai and prove that he is a legitimate pianist in his own right, BUT, he really, REALLY rubs me the wrong way, because he isn’t playing for himself. He still isn’t playing for the “right” reasons and it just looks selfish and petty when you have Kai over there playing piano because he genuinely loves the piano.
May the Best Man Win
This week’s episode was a bit of a nailbiter, the Chopin Competition is in full swing and both Kai and Shuuhei are now competing against one another on the world stage. Gone are the days of friendly rivalries and it’s every pianist for themselves! This was another fantastic episode with some even more amazing playing courtesy of Chopin and his classics!
Don’t forget to check our weekly anime preview each week for an exclusive sneak peek into next week’s episode!
NEXT TIME: Chopin Competition (ショパン・コンクール)
Piano no Mori (The Piano Forest)
Spring 2018 | Anime Info | Simulcast