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

Denis Matsuev, Piano

Friday, November 9, 2018 8 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
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Denis Matsuev
The Los Angeles Times wrote that Denis Matsuev is a “virtuoso in the tradition of Gilels, Richter, or Horowitz,” and this is a program that demands a master’s exalted pianism. Beethoven’s sonata requires both muscle and dexterity, as well as emotional acuity to negotiate its shifting moods, while Chopin’s Ballade No. 4 is no less expressive, but more technically complex and theatric. There is drama in Prokofiev’s gripping wartime sonata as well—a work noteworthy for its blazing outer movements and lyrical Andante.

Performers

Denis Matsuev, Piano

Program

BEETHOVEN Piano Sonata No. 3 in C Major, Op. 2, No. 3
RACHMANINOFF Variations on a Theme of Corelli
CHOPIN Ballade No. 4 in F Minor
TCHAIKOVSKY Méditation, Op. 72, No. 5
PROKOFIEV Piano Sonata No. 7 in B-flat Major

Encores:
SCHUMANN "Träumerei" from Kinderszenen, Op. 15, No. 7
SCHUBERT Impromptu in G-flat Major, D. 899, No. 3
SIBELIUS Etude in A Minor from 13 Pieces, Op. 76, No. 2
SCRIABIN Etude in D-sharp Minor, Op. 8, No. 12
GRIEG "In the Hall of the Mountain King" from Peer Gynt, Op. 23 (arr. Grigory Ginzburg)

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.
Denis Matsuev Performing Liszt’s Mephiso Waltz (Excerpt)

Sponsored by Deloitte LLP

At a Glance

BEETHOVEN  Piano Sonata No. 3 in C Major, Op. 2, No. 3

Beethoven’s first three piano sonatas, Op. 2, followed hard on the heels of his three Op. 1 piano trios. Eager to ingratiate himself with the notoriously demanding Viennese public, and to show off his tempestuous virtuosity at the keyboard, the ambitious young composer-pianist threw caution to the wind in the brilliant and expansive C-Major Piano Sonata.

 

RACHMANINOFF  Variations on a Theme of Corelli, Op. 42

Rachmaninoff used the theme-and-variation form as a vehicle for displaying both his compositional ingenuity and his virtuoso keyboard technique. The Variations on a Theme of Corelli, based on a popular Baroque chord progression known as the “folia,” anticipate his dazzlingly inventive Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini for piano and orchestra.

 

CHOPIN  Ballade No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 52

In an age replete with virtuosos, Chopin’s combination of bravura technique and poetic feeling defined a new school of Romantic pianism. Unlike his many nocturnes, mazurkas, waltzes, and other character pieces, the four ballades resemble tonal narratives in their dramatic interweaving of harmonies, rhythms, textures, and figurations.

 

TCHAIKOVSKY  Méditation, Op. 72, No. 5

Although Tchaikovsky wasn’t considered a pianist of the first rank, his concertos and solo works for the instrument are both technically and musically challenging. The short but emotionally potent character piece Méditation was written near the end of the composer’s life, shortly after he wrote the death-haunted “Pathétique” Symphony.

 

PROKOFIEV  Piano Sonata No. 7 in B-flat Major, Op. 83

Prokofiev completed his powerful B-flat–Major Sonata in the Soviet Union during some of the darkest days of World War II. Alternatively percussive and tender, the music expresses what pianist Sviatoslav Richter called “the anxiously threatening atmosphere of a world that has lost its balance.”

Bios

Denis Matsuev

Since his triumph at the 11th International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1998, Denis Matsuev has become a virtuoso in the Russian pianistic tradition and established himself as one of the most prominent pianists of his generation.

Mr. Matsuev regularly performs with the New York and Munich ...

Since his triumph at the 11th International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1998, Denis Matsuev has become a virtuoso in the Russian pianistic tradition and established himself as one of the most prominent pianists of his generation.

Mr. Matsuev regularly performs with the New York and Munich philharmonics; the Chicago, London, Pittsburgh, and Bavarian Radio symphony orchestras; Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra; Israel Philharmonic Orchestra; Berliner Philharmoniker; Orchestre symphonique de Montréal; and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. As the Capell-Virtuosen of the Staatskapelle Dresden during the 2017–2018 season, he performed in numerous concerts in Dresden and on tour with music director Christian Thielemann. He also performs regularly with legendary Russian orchestras, including the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Mariinsky Orchestra, and Russian National Orchestra.

As a recitalist, Mr. Matsuev can be heard in the world’s great concert halls, including his annual appearance at Carnegie Hall. His extensive discography includes highly acclaimed recital recordings, as well as concerto recordings with the New York Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, and Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and cyclical recordings of the great Russian concertos with the Mariinsky Orchestra and Valery Gergiev.

As one of Russia’s preeminent musicians and prominent public figures, Mr. Matsuev is a member of the Presidential Council for Culture and Art. He was also Russia’s official ambassador for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which he opened with a globally broadcast performance in Moscow’s Red Square. Mr. Matsuev is the artistic director of Switzerland’s Sergei Rachmaninoff Foundation, and he curates and directs his own prestigious concert series, Denis Matsuev Invites, at the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory.

Since 2008, Mr. Matsuev has presided over New Names, a charitable foundation that selects and supports talented young Russian musicians, artists, and poets in the achievement of their professional goals. More than 10,000 children have received monetary grants and/or the opportunity to perform on professional stages through the foundation. Mr. Matsuev was named a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for his work with New Names.

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