Performance Friday, May 19, 2017 | 8 PM

Murray Perahia

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Murray Perahia’s place in the pantheon of great pianists is indisputable. A master of a vast range of repertoire, he can reveal the complex inner voices of a Baroque fugue with stunning clarity, pour out a sustained legato line in a Romantic nocturne, or summon thunder in a Beethoven sonata. In addition to his total technical mastery of the instrument, he is a “musician of big ideas” and “relishes the opportunity to air them in a large public forum” (The New York Times).


  • Murray Perahia, Piano


  • BACH French Suite No. 6 in E Major, BWV 817
  • SCHUBERT Four Impromptus, D. 935
  • MOZART Rondo in A Minor, K. 511
  • BEETHOVEN Piano Sonata No. 32 in C Minor, Op. 111

Event Duration

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

At a Glance

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH  French Suite No. 6 in E Major, BWV 817

Composed around the time Bach took up his final posting in Leipzig in the early 1720s, the six French suites catered to the public’s demand for music in the fashionably melodious galant style. The eight movements of the E-Major Suite are based on courtly dances and run the gamut of expression from playfulness to pathos.

FRANZ SCHUBERT  Four Impromptus, D. 935

As their name implies, Schubert’s impromptus share a spontaneous, improvisatory quality.Yet so deliberately did he lay the D. 935 set out that it has often been likened to a four-movement sonata. The lyrical theme-and-variations Impromptu No. 3 evokes the intimate, singing tone that contemporaries admired in the composer’s piano playing.


In the last decade of his life, Mozart wrote a wide variety of keyboard music, ranging from concertos and sonatas to short, standalone pieces. The Rondo in A Minor illustrates his determination to breathe new life into forms and genres associated with his 18th-century predecessors, even as he expanded the range of piano technique and expression.

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN  Piano Sonata No. 32 in C Minor, Op. 111

In the radiant ending to his final piano sonata, Beethoven gives free rein to his poetic imagination. The music teacher in Thomas Mann’s novel Doctor Faustus describes the closing passage as “the most moving, consolatory,pathetically reconciling thing in the world. It is like having one’s hair or cheekstroked, lovingly, understandingly, like a deep and silent farewell look.”

Program Notes
This performance is part of Great Artists I.