TUESDAY 31 OCTOBER - 8:00 PM
Bach Partita No 6 BWV 830
Szymanowski Mazurkas Op 50, Nos 3, 7, 8, 5, & 4
Webern Variations for Piano, Op 27
Beethoven Piano Sonata No 31, Op 110
From Bach to Beethoven, pianist Piotr Anderszewski finds fascinating connections between composers whose visionary ideas would change keyboard music forever.
The peerless music of J S Bach begins this concert. Anderszewski is renowned for his interpretations of Bach. He brings that special affinity to pieces which, unusually for the time, boast dramatic dynamic contrasts. This is music that reveals Bach’s awe-inspiring ability to weave whole worlds of sound from the simplest ideas.
By the early 1930s, Webern, a student and follower of Schoenberg, was one of the composers and artists criticised by the Nazi Party, which was rapidly gaining power. Amid Austrofascism, Nazism, and World War II, Webern remained nevertheless committed to taking the ‘path to the new music’. By 1934, his conducting career, a major source of income for the composer, was practically over, and he earned his living by teaching composition to a few private pupils. Despite the considerable disadvantages this financial situation had, the lack of a stable job provided Webern with more time to compose. His variations took him about a year to complete, and is his only published work for solo piano.
Arguably the defining figure in the history of Western music, Beethoven extended his innovations in musical form and expression in his late period, from 1812 to 1827, as his health declined. Op 110 was the penultimate of his piano sonatas, composed in 1821 and published in 1822. Szymanowski, from Anderszewski’s homeland of Poland was another true original. His mazurkas marry mind-bending rhythmic patterns with folk-like melodies.