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

Thomas Adès, Piano
Kirill Gerstein, Piano

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 7:30 PM Zankel Hall
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Thomas Adès by Brian Voce, Kirill Gerstein by Marco Borggreve
Thomas Adès is a fascinating composer and a pianist of considerable talent known for his “incisive, brittle, and commanding performances” (The New York Times). He partners with Kirill Gerstein, lauded by The New York Times for the “spontaneity and scintillating sound” of his playing, in a program of two-piano works. They play a rarely heard Shostakovich arrangement of a Stravinsky work, Debussy favorites, Ravel’s hypnotic waltz, and Adès’s paraphrase on music from his popular opera, Powder Her Face.

Part of: Zankel Sampler I

Thomas Adès is also performing March 20.

Kirill Gerstein is also performing March 20.


Thomas Adès, Piano
Kirill Gerstein, Piano


DEBUSSY En blanc et noir
STRAVINSKY Symphony of Psalms (transcr. Shostakovich)
LUTOSŁAWSKI Variations on a Theme by Paganini
DEBUSSY Lindaraja
THOMAS ADÈS Concert Paraphrase on Powder Her Face for Two Pianos (NY Premiere)
RAVEL La valse for Two Pianos

Pre-Concert Talk

Pre-concert talk at 6:30 PM: Kirill Gerstein in conversation with Jeremy Geffen, Senior Director and Artistic Adviser, Carnegie Hall.

At a Glance

The genre of the piano duet arose in Mozart’s day and came to maturity in the 19th century, with the flourishing culture of amateur music making and “house music” intended for domestic use. The term encompasses both works for two pianos and those designed for two players seated side by side at a single keyboard. The latter are conventionally designated “piano four hands,” as if they were meant to be played by a single, polydactyl performer. Much of the extensive piano duo literature predates the era of sound recordings and consists of more or less straightforward arrangements, or “reductions,” of operas and orchestral works.

Tonight’s wide-ranging program features a pair of characteristically colorful works that Debussy conceived for two pianos—the misleadingly titled En blanc et noir (In Black and White) and the sultry, Spanish-inspired Lindaraja—as well as the original keyboard incarnation of Ravel’s riotous orchestral extravaganza La valse. Like Ravel, Stravinsky habitually composed at the piano, and the often brittle brilliance of his Symphony of Psalms is faithfully captured in Shostakovich’s workmanlike transcription. Lutosławski took greater liberties in his freewheeling variations on Paganini’s celebrated Caprice No. 24 for solo violin, while Thomas Adès evokes the 19th-century tradition of the concert paraphrase in four would-be scenes from his chamber opera Powder Her Face.

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