Performance Saturday, May 16, 2015 | 8 PM

Evgeny Kissin

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Evgeny Kissin is always exciting, but never more so than when he performs music by composers with whom he is most closely associated. Kissin returns to Carnegie Hall with works by his repertoire staples—Chopin and Liszt—as well as sonatas by Beethoven and Prokofiev. The nocturne form was conceived by Irish composer John Field, but Chopin reinvented it with an inspired infusion of song-like melodies. While based on a traditional Polish dance, Chopin’s mazurkas are dazzlingly original showpieces that offer striking harmonic invention and breathless flights of technical brilliance.


  • Evgeny Kissin, Piano


  • BEETHOVEN Piano Sonata No. 21 in C Major, Op. 53, "Waldstein"
  • PROKOFIEV Piano Sonata No. 4 in C Minor
  • CHOPIN Nocturne in B-flat Minor, Op. 9, No. 1
  • CHOPIN Nocturne in B Major, Op. 9, No. 3
  • CHOPIN Nocturne in C Minor, Op. 48, No. 1
  • CHOPIN Mazurka in F-sharp Minor, Op. 6, No. 1
  • CHOPIN Mazurka in C-sharp Minor, Op. 6, No. 2
  • CHOPIN Mazurka in E Major, Op. 6, No. 3
  • CHOPIN Mazurka in A Minor, Op. 7, No. 2
  • CHOPIN Mazurka in F Minor, Op. 7, No. 3
  • CHOPIN Mazurka in C-sharp Minor, Op. 41, No. 1
  • LISZT Hungarian Rhapsody No. 15 in A Minor, "Rákóczi-Marsch"

At a Glance

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN  Piano Sonata No. 21 in C Major, Op. 53, “Waldstein” 

The “Waldstein” Sonata, named for one of Beethoven’s noble patrons, followed hard on the heels of the “Eroica” Symphony, and both works exemplify the boldly heroic style of the composer’s middle period. A distinctive feature of the C-Major Sonata is its brief, highly unconventional slow movement, which Beethoven substituted for its original full-length Andante.  

SERGEI PROKOFIEV  Piano Sonata No. 4 in C Minor, Op. 29

Known for his precision and refinement at the keyboard, Prokofiev wrote some of the 20th century’s most brilliant and percussive keyboard music. He premiered the bracingly virtuosic Fourth Sonata in Petrograd in early 1918, shortly before he left the Soviet Union for nearly two decades of self-imposed exile in the United States and Europe.

FRÉDÉRIC CHOPIN  Selected Nocturnes and Mazurkas

Chopin revolutionized piano writing in a large body of nocturnes, mazurkas, waltzes, and other solo pieces that imbued the brilliance of the salon style with unprecedented poetic depth. The nine pieces on tonight’s program illustrate the increasing complexity of Chopin’s music as he expanded his stylistic horizons in the 1830s, partly under the influence of Franz Liszt.

FRANZ LISZT  Hungarian Rhapsody No. 15 in A Minor, “Rákóczi-Marsch”

A seminal figure in the Romantic movement, Liszt was a musical visionary who prefigured many of the major compositional developments of the 20th century. His vast catalogue includes some 1,000 works in many genres, but he is best known for his piano music, including this characteristically virtuosic rhapsody inspired by a popular march from his native Hungary.

This performance is part of Keyboard Virtuosos II.