TUESDAY 11 JUNE - 7:30 PM
Schubert Four Impromptus, D935
Debussy Images Book 2
Chopin Etudes Op 25
These three cycles are by composers that distinctly have their own voice and style. Poetry and originality unite these cycles with each set becoming more nature associated – evident in the titles of the works of Debussy and Chopin. As each piece from these sets becomes shorter, they can be described as narratives by Schubert to start with and later descriptive visions of colour or scenery by Debussy and Chopin.
Born in Kazakhstan, Alim Beisembayev won First Prize at The Leeds International Piano Competition in September 2021. Announced as a BBC New Generation Artist 2023-25, in summer 2023, Alim made his Royal Albert Hall BBC Proms debut. He performed Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No 2 with the Sinfonia of London, conducted by John Wilson, broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and recorded for BBC Television.
Schubert was a prolific composer, and despite his personal struggles, he produced a plethora of works in the late 1820s. His Impromptus were written in the same year as the Impromptus, Op 90, but were not published until 1839, more than a decade after his death. Together with the preceding set, they have become a cornerstone of the piano repertoire.
In 1911, when he was almost 50, Claude Debussy wrote to the composer Edgar Varèse, ‘I love pictures almost as much as music’. In 1905 he began three sets of compositions depicting or conveying a variety of pictures – images. Book 2 of these includes the evocative Poissons d’or (Goldfish). The work is said to be inspired by a painting of two gold-coloured fish on a small Japanese lacquer panel that Debussy owned.
During the 19th Century, the piano reigned for decades as the centre of home entertainment. To accommodate the increasing desire of the masses for proficiency at the piano, books of études were published. These musical exercises were designed to increase strength and dexterity through repetition of a single technique, such as scales. Chopin’s Études, Op 25 were hailed by Robert Schumann as ‘poems in music’. He coined for it the alternate name ‘Aeolian Harp‘ for the notes that evoke the whispers of a celestial harp.