We just finished the year here at Miami University! With summer right around the corner, I am excited to announce some phenomenal repertory that I will be learning and preparing for the next concert season.
Schubert, Klavierstücke in E flat minor, D. 946, No. 1
This piece has always been on my to-learn list. It was composed just six months before the Schubert's death. When listening to the work, one gets a sense of urgency and agitation with a hint of hope and optimism. This piece is infrequently performed and I am not sure why! Enjoy a wonderful performance by Alfred Brendel. I hope you love this piece as much as I do.
Messiaen, Twenty Contemplations on the Infant Jesus
A couple of years ago, I decided to tackle on a movement from Messiaen's monumental work, Twenty Contemplations on the Infant Jesus, which I believe is one of the most important and influential compositions of the 20th century. Check out my performance of one of the movements here. One of the things that I love about this work is Messiaen's creative and unique harmonic language. The next movement that I am going to learn is "The Kiss of Infant Jesus," a berceuse-like piece. Listen to one of the best performances that you will ever hear of the work by Pierre-Laurent Aimard.
Medtner, Fairy Tales, Op. 34
As many of you know, one of my major creative interests is performing and recording the complete solo piano music of Nikolai Medtner, a Russian romantic contemporary of Sergei Rachmaninov. If you are interested in learning more about the project, check out my blog post here. I also wrote about the Fairy Tales here as well.
Beethoven Variations and Fugue in E flat Major, Op. 35
Beethoven Variations and Fugue in E flat Major, Op. 35 is commonly referred as "Eroica Variations" because the theme of this work is also used in the last movement of his Symphony No. 3, "Eroica" as well as the finale to his ballet, The Creatures of Prometheus. Interestingly, musicologists and scholars have pointed out that Beethoven's predilection of this simple, but catchy tune might have been inspired from Clementi's Sonatas, Op. 13, No. 6 and Op. 7, No. 3. Here are the excerpts in question. You be the judge!
Beethoven Variations and Fugue in E flat Major, Op. 35, Theme
Clementi Sonata, Op. 13, No. 6, third movement, opening theme
Clementi Sonata, Op. 7, No. 3, first movement, opening theme
In any case, Beethoven's composition is truly a virtuosic workout for the pianist. After writing a set of fifteen variations, the composer presents a glorious fugue before the theme reappears for the final time at the end.
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