Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Pianist Vladimir Horowitz was born on October 1, 1903, in Kiev, Ukraine. His mother, a pianist herself, provided him with piano lessons at an early age—marking the start of his lifelong love of the piano. Horowitz enrolled at the Kiev Conservatory in 1912. He studied there until 1919, and upon graduation, performed the Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30 by Sergei Rachmaninov. Many years later Horowitz left the Soviet Union, and he ultimately came to the US. After a distinguished performance career, what followed was an extensive period where Horowitz did not perform at all. Vladimir Horowitz ended a twelve-year absence from the concert stage in May, 1965, with a Carnegie Hall recital that included Schumann’s Fantasy and various works by Scriabin and Chopin. The performance earned great acclaim, and the subsequent recording of that concert proved immensely successful. Horowitz died on November 5, 1989, in New York City. He was 86 years old. Here is Mr. Horowitz playing Chopin in Vienna:
I heard Mr. Tharaud play the music of Chopin this morning. It was direct, sensitive, fluid, musical, and satisfying. Then I did some searching and located his playing of Schubert’s Impromptus. That is when I decided that I must share his music with y’all… There are few recordings by this artist available right now. I found Bach, Rachmaninov, and one more. I like what I heard… Here is Mr. Tharaud playing Schubert:
Laurent Wagschal (piano) (Evidence)Among all the virtuoso pianists who have embellished the music they play, Leopold Godowsky was one of the most extreme. His imaginative paraphrases go far beyond the bounds of mere transcription: Saint-Saëns’s famous Swan is sugar-coated with decoration, and three Schubert songs take Liszt’s elaborations even further. Most fascinating here is Bach’s G minor sonata for solo violin, in which the first movement is an entirely original meditation. It is difficult to quite see the point of Chopin studies arranged for the left hand, but Laurent Wagschal plays them with clarity and definition – which is admirable, but possibly at odds with the warm, late Romantic tradition from which the arrangements spring. Continue reading...
The American pianist on composers and mortality, having two violinist parents, and his lack of coordination in all things not piano-relatedIn his Late Style series, which he is playing across the US, Italy, the Netherlands and in London – at Milton Court, Barbican on 8 November, returning next year – the American pianist Jonathan Biss, 36, explores the music Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Schubert, Schumann and Kurtág wrote near the end of their lives.Life can be short or long, death lingering or sudden. Is there any common thread in the music you’re playing in this three-concert series? Actually, it’s the lack of a common thread that really interests me. Playing these works, I feel clearly that these composers are moving in new directions late in life, but those directions vary enormously, composer to composer. Schubert, who died at the impossibly young age of 31, faced mortality with a feverish intensity. In contrast, Mozart, who was almost as young, brought an almost naive but profound simplicity to his late works – think of the Clarinet Concerto, or the Clarinet Quintet. Bach, 65 when he died, became more abstract and austere – The Art of the Fugue is so extreme in that way. And Elgar, writing his final works around the same age, though he lived on into his 70s, became incredibly emotionally expansive – in the Piano Quintet, the String Quartet, the Violin Sonata. Continue reading...
Pianist Yuma Wang is always a crowd pleaser, because she is prepared, flamboyant, highly musical, and an amazing musician. She will appear in a concert with the San Francisco Symphony. Venue: Louise Davies Concert Hall Address: 201 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102 Dates: November 2, 3,, and 4 at 8:00 PM Program: Chopin, Piano Concerto number 2 Bruckner, Symphony number 7
The Leeds piano competition is being given a radical, creative reboot. Paul Lewis, one of its new directors – alongside Adam Gatehouse – explains the plan I’ve never liked competitions. So when I was approached about becoming one of the new artistic directors of “the Leeds”, my first reaction was to say no. Then I began to wonder if it might be possible to reinvent the competition in terms of what benefits the participants. It still feels like only yesterday that I was entering competitions myself, and I remember only too well how it felt – and how I wished it could feel different.I was fortunate enough to win some good prizes, including second prize in the London international piano competition. But I always found such contests intimidating. I’m not a naturally competitive animal – I don’t enjoy getting into a metaphorical boxing ring, playing the piano and waiting to see who’s going to knock me out. I’ll never forget that awful feeling of: “Oh God, I played two wrong notes in that Chopin study,” or worrying that I’d lose points for an unusual fingering. Continue reading...
Frédéric François Chopin (22 February 1810 / 1 March - 17 October 1849) was a Polish composer, virtuoso pianist, and music teacher, of French-Polish parentage. He was one of the great masters of Romantic music. Chopin is also known as "The poet of the Piano". Chopin was born in ?elazowa Wola, a village in the Duchy of Warsaw. A renowned child-prodigy pianist and composer, he grew up in Warsaw and completed his musical education there. Following the Russian suppression of the Polish November 1830 Uprising, Chopin settled in Paris as part of the Polish Great Emigration. He supported himself as a composer and piano teacher, giving few public performances. From 1837 to 1847 he carried on a relationship with the French woman writer George Sand. For most of his life, Chopin suffered from poor health; he died in Paris in 1849 at the age of 39. Most of Chopin's works involve the piano. They are technically demanding but emphasize nuance and expressive depth. Chopin invented the musical form known as the instrumental ballade and made major innovations to the piano sonata, mazurka, waltz, nocturne, polonaise, étude, impromptu and prélude.
Great composers of classical music