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1. Romantic tales

In the mists

Four Ballades


Carnaval, Op. 9

This program brings together three masterpieces of the Romantic period that explore the idea of storytelling in music. Chopin's Four Ballades were inspired by the poetry of Chopin's fellow Polish expatriate in Paris, Adam Mickiewicz. They are some of his most inspired and moving pieces. Schumann's Carnaval is partly based on the Italian Commedia dell'arte, while also paying musical tribute to his friends and colleagues, among them Chopin and Paganini. It contains many layers of musical allusions and characters and is one of his most complete and sweeping piano cycles. The program begins with Janacek's beautifully enigmatic "In the mists", a colorful and passionate work which hints at an untold, hidden story behind the notes.

2. Hommage to Chopin

Sonata in C minor, K. 457

Selections from Études, Books 1 and 2
No. 5 "pour les Octaves"
No. 10"pour les Sonorités opposées"
No. 11"pour les Arpèges composées"
No. 12"pour les Accords"


DAVID LUDWIG (b. 1972)
Five Bagatelles (92Y commission)

Barcarolle in F-sharp major, Op. 60
Mazurka in A minor, Op. 17, No. 4
Mazurka in D major, Op. 33, No. 2
Mazurka in C-sharp minor, Op. 50, No. 3
Polonaise-Fantasy in A-flat major, Op. 61

This program is an Hommage to Chopin. It begins with Mozart's Sonata in C minor, K. 457, a dramatic work by one of Chopin's favorite composers. Debussy's Etudes, one of his last works, were dedicated to Chopin and inspired by Chopin's own Etudes. David Ludwig, a major young American composer, wrote a set of Five Bagatelles inspired by Chopin especially for this program; the piece is also based on material from Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire. Chopin's own work is represented by an artfully selected group of pieces including the magnificent Barcarolle and Polonaise-Fantasy, along with three Mazurkas.

3. All Beethoven

Sonata No. 7 in D, Op. 10 No. 3
Six Bagatelles, Op. 126


Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 "Appassionata"

This program is devoted to Beethoven. More than any other composer, his music speaks for itself: its power and variety make for a fascinating concert. Each work on this program is from a different period of his life: the revolutionary Sonata No. 7 in D, Op. 10 No. 3 from his early period, the exquisite Six Bagatelles, Op. 126 from his late period, and the Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 "Appassionata" from his tumultuous middle period.

4. Goldberg Variations

Goldberg Variations BWV 988

A groundbreaking work and one of the most inspired creations by Bach, this work is unique in the history of music for its sheer variety and invention.

5. Around Schubert

Improvisations on Hungarian Peasant Songs, Op. 20

Sonata in D, D. 850


"Idyll and Abyss: Six Schubert Reminiscences"

Fantasies Op. 116

This program is built around Schubert. It begins with Bartok's Improvisations on Hungarian Peasant Songs, Op. 20, written-out improvisations based on folk songs that Bartok transcribed in the Hungarian countryside. The combination of folk materials and improvisation is at the heart of Schubert's Sonata in D, D. 850, a rarely heard late Schubert masterpiece. The imaginative German composer Jorg Widmann's Six Schubert Reminiscences pays homage to Schubert with a series of heartbreaking miniatures. "My love for Schubert is a serious one, precisely because it is not a passing fancy." This is a Brahms quote: his passionate late Fantasies Op. 116 close the program.

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Posted: Apr-3-2012
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