Five fingers is all that French musician Maxime Zecchini needs to not just play a piano but make it sound like an entire orchestral composition. The 37-year-old pianist who, recently concluded his 15-day-long India tour, is best known for practising the ‘left hand repertoire’, where a musician uses a single hand to churn out compositions that would ideally require all ten fingers.
“The idea that the playing of a piano with just five fingers could sound like two hands was an extraordinary wonder to me,” he says. Zecchini’s tryst with the ‘left hand repertoire’ began a few years back when he was studying ‘pour la main gauche’, one of the most popular concertoes composed by French composer Maurice Ravel. According to the pianist, who is inspired by classic opera composers like Mozart and Giuseppe Verdi, the art of playing the piano with one hand is technically challenging yet sensually appealing.
“The poetic breadth of this unusual repertoire is in equal parts technically challenging and spectacular.
“The positioning of the fingers with natural flexibility on the keyboard creates powerful low notes which is sensual to the ears,” says Zecchini, who is the first of the French pianists to receive a degree from Incontri col Maestro Academy (International Piano Academy) in Italy. The music aficionado has conducted shows at several locations across the globe. For his stint in India, he played some of most popular harmonies by composing greats like Alkan, Verdi, Chopin, Mozart and Michelle Legrand, along with a series of his original creations.
“The tunes by these artistes are some of the most beautiful piano sounds ever created,” he says. He performed in six cities here – Delhi, Ahmedabad, Goa, Pune, Kolkata and Chennai – where he also did a personal rendition of his favourite Bollywood tune, the title track of Shah Rukh Khan starrer “Kal Ho Naa Ho” as a “special gesture” for the Indian audience. The award winning musician has orchestrated musicals besides composing for television shows.
“Music has taught me discipline. It is a ritual for me. It is rigorous work to be a professional but the rewards are always impeccable,” he says. On his first visit to India, the artiste walked the bustling streets of Nizamuddin and Old Delhi markets and saw several historical monuments.
“It is always a pleasure to discover different cultures and exchange emotions. After coming to Delhi, I explored Nizamuddin and the busy markets of Old Delhi and I felt the much talked about Indian warmth. I am glad to have presented my music here,” he says.