WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART Fantasia in
C Minor, K. 475; Piano Sonata in C Minor, K. 457
virtuoso pianist, Mozart composed a wide range of solo keyboard music, from
concertos and sonatas to rondos, fantasias, and other stand-alone pieces. This
masterly repertoire illustrates his determination to expand the range of piano
technique and expression. Written at different times in the mid-1780s, the Fantasia
and Piano Sonata share the passionate and often tragic character associated
with the key of C minor and are traditionally performed together.
FRÉDÉRIC CHOPIN Polonaise-fantaisie in
A-flat Major, Op. 61; Three Mazurkas, Op. 59
revolutionized piano writing in dozens of nocturnes, waltzes, mazurkas, and
other solo pieces that imbued the brilliance of the salon style with
unprecedented poetic depth. Robert Schumann extolled the Polish composer’s
accomplishment, in which, he wrote, “imagination and technique share dominion
side by side.” Op. 61 and Op. 59 represent two dance genres with which Chopin
was closely associated—the jaunty exuberance of the polonaise and the folk-like
simplicity of the mazurka.
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH English Suite No.
6 in D Minor, BWV 811
the years before and after his move to Leipzig in 1723, Bach devoted much of
his time to composing didactic works for the keyboard. Among them were the six
misleadingly named English Suites, which, like the later French Suites,
demonstrate Bach’s facility in the florid French idiom. Based on courtly dances
of the day, the suites exemplify the elegant and melodious style that appealed
to well-bred amateurs and cultured aristocrats alike in Bach’s time.