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Denis Matsuev, Piano

Sunday, October 20, 2019 2 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
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Denis Matsuev
It takes a pianist with “epic technique … superhuman speed, power, and agility” (The Boston Globe) to successfully embrace Liszt’s flash and Stravinsky’s high-octane excitement. Denis Matsuev is just the artist. Liszt’s Sonata unfolds in one massive movement with a deliriously virtuosic central section and whispering finale, while his Mephisto Waltz No. 1 is a rollicking showpiece. Stravinsky’s piano transcriptions of the “Russian Dance,” “Pétrouchka’s Room,” and “Shrovetide Fair” from his great ballet are stunning showpieces that also make daunting technical demands of the performer.

Part of: Keyboard Virtuosos II


Denis Matsuev, Piano


LISZT Piano Sonata in B Minor

LISZT Mephisto Waltz No. 1

TCHAIKOVSKY Dumka in C Minor, Op. 59

STRAVINSKY Three Movements from Pétrouchka


LIADOV A Musical Snuffbox, Op. 32

RACHMANINOFF Etude-tableaux in A Minor, Op. 39, No. 2

SIBELIUS Etude (Leggiero) from 13 Pieces for Piano, Op. 76, No. 2

GRIEG "In the Hall of the Mountain King" from Peer Gynt (transcr. Grigory Ginzburg)

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately 90 minutes, including one 20-minute intermission.

In honor of the centenary of his birth, Carnegie Hall’s 2019–2020 season is dedicated to the memory of Isaac Stern in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to Carnegie Hall, arts advocacy, and the field of music.

At a Glance

LISZT  Piano Sonata in B Minor

A key figure of the Romantic era, Liszt was a musical visionary who prefigured many of the major compositional developments of the 20th century. This massive single-movement sonata illustrates the technique of thematic transformation that he also employed in his many symphonic poems.


LISZT  Mephisto Waltz No. 1 (Der Tanz in der Dorfschenke), S. 514

Like much of the music Liszt wrote to show off his transcendental virtuosity at the keyboard, his four Mephisto Waltzes are equal parts inspiration and unabashed showmanship. The first depicts a boisterous wedding feast at a village inn at which Mephistopheles steals the show.


TCHAIKOVSKY  Dumka in C Minor, Op. 59

Passion and drama are seldom far from the surface in Tchaikovsky’s music. A short character piece written toward the end of the composer’s life, Dumka centers on impassioned climaxes that are surrounded and set off by music of a tenderly ruminative and somewhat passive nature.


STRAVINSKY  Three Movements from Pétrouchka

Pétrouchka is the second of three wildly successful ballets inspired by Russian folklore that made Stravinsky a household name in Paris before World War I. After the war, the composer collaborated with Arthur Rubinstein to create this brilliantly virtuosic piano suite based on episodes from the ballet.

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