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Mitsuko Uchida, Piano

Saturday, May 4, 2019 8 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
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Mitsuko Uchida by Decca / Justin Pumfrey
The magnificent Mitsuko Uchida, praised for her “probing and magisterial” Schubert (The New York Times), continues her multi-season exploration devoted to the Austrian master. A youthful sonata brimming with melody opens the program, which also features the uncompleted but grandly scaled “Reliquie” Sonata. Her recital culminates with Schubert’s last sonata, a darkly shaded masterpiece in which he contemplates his impending mortality while looking back to Beethoven in a gentle and rollicking Rondo finale.

Part of: Great Artists I


Mitsuko Uchida, Piano



Piano Sonata in A Minor, D. 537

Piano Sonata in C Major, D. 840, "Reliquie"

Piano Sonata in B-flat Major, D. 960

Event Duration

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

At a Glance

In the eyes of his contemporaries, Schubert loomed larger as a composer of vocal music than of instrumental works. Only toward the end of his tragically foreshortened lifetime did audiences and critics grow to appreciate his rich trove of orchestral and chamber masterpieces, ranging from symphonies to piano solos. Even then, less than a quarter of his major works in these genres—including just three of his 21 piano sonatas—saw the light of publication before his death in 1828.

The three works we hear on this evening’s program span the decade of his brief, precocious maturity. The vivacious three-movement Sonata in A Minor is among a cluster of works written in 1817 during a euphoric period of independence when the 20-year-old composer got away from his parents’ home and stayed with a friend in the center of Vienna. Eight years later, Schubert embarked on a more expansive work, the Sonata in C Major, but unaccountably left the last two of its four movements incomplete, hence the publisher’s subtitle “Reliquie” (“Relic”). Schubert’s last three sonatas, D. 958–960, are even more remarkable for the grandeur of their conception. The first movement of the Sonata in B-flat Major is one of the composer’s most spacious musical structures, being almost as long as the other three movements combined.

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