Traveling has always been an integral aspect of musical and professional development for composers over the last few centuries. Whether these musicians were relocating to another city or visiting an exotic place for vacation, most of them found creative inspiration that would shape their artistic direction in their compositions.
Bon Voyage, a new recital program developed by pianist Frank Huang, explores how these life-altering journeys provided that innovative musical spark. Program highlights include Chopin’s Mazurka, Op. 41, No. 2, where the composer wrote the work during a romantic getaway with George Sand in Mallorca; selections from Liszt’s Years of Pilgrimage, a collection of “musical postcards” during his visits to Italy and Switzerland; and Darius Milhaud’s Saudades do Brasil, a piano dance suite that features samba and tango rhythms.
I have always enjoyed traveling and visiting new places. Learning about new cultures and immersing myself with nature and the outdoors have led to a sense of a rejuvenation of the creative spirit.
Brahms, Waltzes, Op. 39
Milhaud, Selections from Saudades do Brasil
Poulenc, Suite Napoli
Chopin, Mazurka, Op. 41, No. 2
Rzewski, Rubinstein in Berlin
Liszt, Fountains of Villa d’Este, Bells of Geneva, Orage