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  • Carnegie Hall Presents
  • ZH Zankel Hall
  • SA/PS Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
  • REW Resnick Education Wing
  • WRH Weill Recital Hall

Paul Lewis, Piano

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 7:30 PM Zankel Hall
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Paul Lewis by Josep Molina
Faced with such excellence, a mere critic can only abandon paper and pencil and listen to this heroic but deeply moving artist with awe and amazement,” wrote Gramophone of Paul Lewis. He explores the late piano music of three Austro-German masters in a recital that traces a path from the grace and wit of Haydn to the concentrated emotive power of Beethoven and Brahms.

Part of: Keyboard Virtuosos III: Keynotes


Paul Lewis, Piano


HAYDN Piano Sonata in C Major, Hob. XVI: 50
BEETHOVEN Bagatelles, Op. 126
BRAHMS Klavierstücke, Op. 118
HAYDN Piano Sonata in G Major, Hob. XVI: 40

SCHUBERT Allegretto in C Minor, D. 915

Event Duration

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

At a Glance

JOSEPH HAYDN  Piano Sonata in C Major, Hob. XVI: 50; Piano Sonata in G Major, Hob. XVI: 40

Although most concertgoers more readily associate Haydn with symphonies and string quartets than with keyboard music, he composed dozens of masterful sonatas and other works for both harpsichord and piano throughout his career. The three-movement Sonata in C Major—an exuberant showpiece written in the mid-1790s—highlights the bold sonorities of the Broadwood pianos that Haydn heard in London. The two-movement G-Major Sonata, dating from around 1784, exhibits the facile imagination and puckish wit that were Haydn’s stock in trade.

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN  Six Bagatelles, Op. 126

A bagatelle is traditionally defined as a trifle, but the term can hardly do justice to these wonderfully sophisticated and challenging pieces that Beethoven wrote soon after he completed the Ninth Symphony and Missa solemnis. Conceived as a set of six, the Op. 126 Bagatelles combine the uncomplicated lyricism of Beethoven’s early works with the intricately convoluted style of his late period.

JOHANNES BRAHMS  Klavierstücke, Op. 118

Toward the end of his life, Brahms returned to the quintessentially Romantic genre of the instrumental character piece, a time-honored vehicle for distilling a particular mood or musical idea to its essence. Composed in 1893, the six miniature masterpieces for solo piano that make up the Op. 118 Klavierstücke are among the composer’s valedictory works.


Paul Lewis

Paul Lewis is internationally regarded as one of the leading musicians of his generation. His numerous accolades include two Edison awards, three Gramophone awards, the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Instrumentalist of the Year award, the Diapason d’Or de l’année, The South Bank Show’s Classical Music Award, and the Accademia Musicale Chigiana International Prize. In 2016, Mr. Lewis was appointed Commander of the British Empire in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. He holds honorary doctorate degrees from University of Southampton and Edge Hill University.

Mr. Lewis performs regularly as a soloist with the world’s great orchestras. He is a frequent guest at prestigious international festivals that include Lucerne, Mostly Mozart, Tanglewood, Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, Salzburg, Edinburgh, and London’s BBC Proms, where in 2010 he became the first pianist to perform a complete Beethoven piano concerto cycle in one season. Mr. Lewis’s recital career takes him to venues that include Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, London’s Royal Festival Hall, Paris’s Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Chicago’s Symphony Center, Tokyo’s Oji Hall, Melbourne’s Recital Centre, Zürich’s Tonhalle, Barcelona’s Palau de la Música Catalana, Vienna’s Musikverein and Konzerthaus, and Berlin’s Philharmonie and Konzerthaus.

Mr. Lewis’s 2016–2017 season included Beethoven concerto cycles with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, and Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as appearances with the Orchestre de Paris and Daniel Harding, Philharmonia Orchestra and Andris Nelsons, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Manfred Honeck, and Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Bernard Haitink. His 2017–2018 season sees the start of a two-year recital series that explores connections between the sonatas of Haydn, the late piano works of Brahms, and Beethoven’s bagatelles and Diabelli Variations.

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