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  • Carnegie Hall Presents
  • ZH Zankel Hall
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  • REW Resnick Education Wing
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CARNEGIE HALL PRESENTS

Sir András Schiff, Piano

Thursday, April 5, 2018 8 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
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Twisting threads of counterpoint, effervescent wit, and melancholy laments define the music that spans Bach to Brahms on this program. Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in B Minor are sublime, while the poignant tone and opening theme of Mozart's Rondo in A Minor prefigure Chopin. Forlorn episodes appear in Brahms’s final piano works, but also rays of sunshine, gentle cheer, and heroic resolve. Sir András Schiff is a master of this repertoire and “stands with perhaps only a handful of pianists in his total achievement of the most severe beauty” (The Philadelphia Inquirer).

Part of: Keyboard Virtuosos II

Sir András Schiff is also performing April 3.

Performers

Sir András Schiff, Piano

Program

SCHUMANN Variations on an Original Theme, WoO 24
BRAHMS Three Intermezzos, Op. 117
MOZART Rondo in A Minor, K. 511
BRAHMS Klavierstücke, Op. 118
BACH Prelude and Fugue in B Minor from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I
BRAHMS Klavierstücke, Op. 119
BEETHOVEN Piano Sonata No. 26 in E-flat Major, Op. 81a, "Les adieux"

Encores:
BEETHOVEN Bagatelle in E-flat Major, Op. 126, No. 6
BACH Capriccio in B-flat Major, BWV 992, "On the Departure of a Most Beloved Brother"
SCHUMANN "The Happy Farmer" from Album for the Young, Op. 68, No. 10

Event Duration

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

The Trustees of Carnegie Hall gratefully acknowledge the generosity of the Jack Benny Family Foundation in support of the 2017-2018 season.

At a Glance

ROBERT SCHUMANN  Variations on an Original Theme, WoO 24

Left unfinished after Schumann’s death, this brief but beguiling set of variations is numbered among the composer’s Werk ohne Opuszahl (“works without opus numbers”). Although its composition in 1854 coincided with the onset of Schumann’s final illness, the music conveys a sense of peace rather than suffering.

 

JOHANNES BRAHMS  Three Intermezzos, Op. 117; Klavierstücke, Op. 118; Klavierstücke, Op. 119

Toward the end of his life, Brahms returned to the characteristically Romantic genre of the instrumental character piece. The jewel-like miniatures of Op. 117 set and its two sequels are among the composer’s valedictory works.

 

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART  Rondo in A Minor, K. 511

In the final 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.

 

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH  Prelude and Fugue in B Minor, from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I, BWV 869

In the last of the 24 prelude and fugue pairs that make up Book I of The Well-Tempered Clavier, written in 1722, Bach looks ahead to the companion volume that he would compose some two decades later.

 

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN  Piano Sonata No. 26 in E-flat Major, Op. 81a, “Les adieux”

Written during the Napoleonic Wars, Beethoven’s E-flat–Major Sonata commemorates the departure from Vienna (and subsequent return) of his beloved benefactor Archduke Rudolf. The three movements are titled “Das Lebewohl” (“The Farewell”), “Abwesenheit” (“The Absence”), and “Das Wiedersehen” (“The Reunion”).

Bios

Sir András Schiff

Sir András Schiff was born in Budapest, Hungary, and started piano lessons at the age of five with Elisabeth Vadász. He continued his studies at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music with Pál Kadosa, György Kurtág, and Ferenc Rados, and later in London with George Malcolm.

Recitals and special cycles—including the major keyboard works of J. S. Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Schumann, and Bartók—form an important part of Sir András’s performing activities. This season, he appears as conductor and soloist with the New York Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and performs more than a dozen recitals during two North American visits.

An exclusive ECM recording artist, Sir András’s discography of works by Schubert, Schumann, Janáček, Beethoven, and Bach have been released to the highest critical acclaim. The most recent recording, Encores after Beethoven—a collection of encores performed after Sir András’s Beethoven cycle programs—was released in 2016. A recording with violinist Yūko Shiokawa that includes sonatas for violin and piano by Bach, Busoni, and Beethoven was released in October 2017.

Sir András has been awarded numerous international prizes. In 2006 he became an honorary member of Bonn’s Beethoven House in recognition of his interpretations of the composer’s works, and in 2008 he was awarded the Wigmore Hall Medal in appreciation of 30 years of music-making at London’s famed venue. Sir András is also a member of the Honor of Vienna’s Konzarthaus and a recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Gold Medal.

In the spring of 2011, Sir András attracted attention because of his opposition to the alarming political developments in Hungary. In view of the ensuing attacks on him from Hungarian nationalists, he decided not to perform again in his home country. In June 2014, he was awarded a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II. Sir András’s book, Musik kommt aus der Stille: Gespräche mit Martin Meyer—essays and conversations with Martin Meyer—was published in March 2017 by Bärenreiter and Henschel.

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