Time is flying! The recital is Sunday March 1st, at 3PM Georgia USA time. If you want to watch, it will be streamed live atfacebook.com/uwgmusic
. (Hopefully - I have no control over the streaming).
I have a cold - at least its not the flu! But practice is continuing. Preparing is a bit overwhelming. I have never played a full recital before (and I will never do this again!), so there is a lot to remember. If I could just go backstage and practice each movement slowly before coming out and playing it on stage, I might have a better chance. But the audience would get bored!
Expect a unique performance by a 67 year-old undergraduate - not mistake free, but enthusiastic!
Fantasie in C minor, BWV906 - Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Sonata in Ab major “Funeral March”, op. 26 - Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
- Andante con Variazioni
- Scherzo Allegro molto
- Marcai funebre sulla morte d’un Eroe
Notturno, op. 54, no. 4 - Edvard Grieg (1843-1907)
Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, op. 120, no. 1 - Johannes Brahms (1833 - 1897) - Laurie Searle, Clarinet
- Andante un poco Adagio
Piano Sonata no. 2 “Concord, Mass., 1840-1860” - Charles Ives (1874-1954)
- III. “The Alcotts”
The program notes:
Bach Fantasie C minor BWV 906
The manuscript for this piece (it was never published) dates from 1738. What else happened in 1738? Scarlatti published his famous collection of sonatas. Bach may have seen a copy of Scarlatti’s sonatas, decided he could do that - only better - and wrote his own version. The Fantasie has the same form, and shares many of the same characteristics, as a Scarlatti sonata.
Beethoven Piano Sonata #12, opus 26 “Funeral March”
This sonata is unique among Beethoven’s sonatas in that it does not have a single movement in sonata form. The first movement is a theme and 5 variations. This is followed by a scherzo. The third movement was subtitled by Beethoven, “Funeral March on the Death of a Hero”, and it is this movement that gives the sonata its nickname. Since it is a march for a hero, the middle of the movement has ruffles (drum rolls) and flourishes (fanfares), so the piano gets to imitate a brass band. In the final movement, a rondo, Beethoven turns his back on the cemetery and runs for town.
Grieg Notturno op. 54/4
In 1860, Grieg, a Norwegian, went away to conservatory in Germany. He contracted pleurisy and tuberculosis, which destroyed his left lung and deformed his spine. In spite of his health problems, he became Norway’s most famous composer. He published 66 “Lyric Pieces” for piano. The Notturno is reminiscent of a night in the forest, complete with a windstorm and bird calls.
Brahms Clarinet Sonata op. 120/1, 2nd mvt
Late in his life, when Brahms had all but stopped composing, he made friends with the clarinetist Richard Muhlfeld. Brahms was inspired to write several pieces for clarinet, including two clarinet sonatas, which have become some of the greatest works ever written for the instrument. The second movement of the 1st sonata sounds simple, but requires a delicate interplay between the instruments.
Charles Ives “The Alcotts” from the Concord Sonata
Charles Ives was a unique individual who made a living as an insurance executive and who never made any money from his music. Yet today he is considered one of the greatest and most original American composers of the 20th century. He wrote a series of essays about the Concord Sonata, which has movements for Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, and the Alcotts. This refers to the real-life family (not the fictional family) of Louisa May Alcott, the author of “Little Women”. Listen for three characters: sister Beth, playing the piano in the parlor; father Bronson (a radical educator and transcendentalist) in his study, shaking his fist at heaven; and the author Louisa May upstairs, sitting at her tiny corner desk, observing and writing. Ives was fond of using the music of other composers that was important to him, so listen for echoes of the opening of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony throughout the piece.