Performance Sunday, June 15, 2014 | 8 PM

Denis Matsuev

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Due to illness, Denis Matsuev’s scheduled recital on January 30 has been postponed to Sunday, June 15 at 8 PM. All tickets for the original date will be honored. For further information, please call CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800.

Hailed “as the successor to Russian keyboard lions like Evgeny Kissin, Arcadi Volodos, and … Vladimir Horowitz” (The New York Times), Denis Matsuev has been establishing himself as one of the most sought-after pianists of his generation. Ever since his triumphant victory at the 1998 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, he has been winning acclaim from critics and audiences alike for his combination of stunning virtuosity and clear artistic identity. The dynamic pianist returns to Carnegie Hall for a recital of works by Haydn, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, and Rachmaninoff.


  • Denis Matsuev, Piano


  • HAYDN Piano Sonata in E-flat Major, Hob. XVI: 52
  • SCHUMANN Carnaval, Op. 9
  • RACHMANINOFF Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
  • RACHMANINOFF Prelude in G-sharp Minor, Op. 32, No. 12
  • TCHAIKOVSKY Dumka in C Minor, Op. 59
  • TCHAIKOVSKY Méditation, Op. 72, No. 5
  • RACHMANINOFF Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat Minor

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.


Rachmaninoff's Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
Denis Matsuev, Piano
RCA Red Seal

At a Glance

JOSEPH HAYDN  Piano Sonata in E-flat Major, Hob. XVI:52

Although most concertgoers more readily associate Haydn with symphonies and string quartets than with keyboard music, he wrote dozens of masterful sonatas and other works for both harpsichord and piano. This showpiece, a perennial concert-hall favorite, was probably inspired by the bold sonorities of the Broadwood pianos that Haydn heard in London.

ROBERT SCHUMANN  Carnaval, Op. 9

Like most of Schumann’s solo piano works of the 1830s, Carnaval was in part a musical valentine to his future bride, Clara Wieck. But it also memorializes his first love, a young pianist named Ernestine von Fricken, to whom the composer was briefly engaged. Underlying the score are the contrasting personalities of Schumann’s fictitious alter egos: the stormy, impulsive Florestan and the dreamy, ruminative Eusebius.

SERGEI RACHMANINOFF  Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5; Prelude in G-sharp Minor, Op. 32, No. 12; Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat Minor, Op. 36

Rachmaninoff’s Op. 23 and Op. 32 preludes display his trademark blend of Russian-flavored lyricism and dazzling virtuosity. Dating from the beginning and end of the first decade of the 20th century, the two sets also reflect his growing mastery of the pianistic idiom, which came to fruition in the monumental but highly concentrated musical language of the Second Piano Sonata.

PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY  Dumka in C Minor, Op. 59; Méditation, Op. 72, No. 5

Tchaikovsky was not in Rachmaninoff’s league as a pianist, but his piano concertos, sonatas, and shorter pieces are as challenging in their own way as anything his younger compatriot wrote. These two character pieces were written toward the end of Tchaikovsky’s life and reflect his abiding interest in Slavic themes.  

This performance is part of Keyboard Virtuosos I.

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