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Cancelled: Sir András Schiff, Piano

Thursday, April 2, 2020 8 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Sir András Schiff by Nadia F. Romanini
Immerse yourself in Beethoven’s piano sonatas where tragedy and joy live side-by-side, tenderness gives way to rough humor, and virtuosity reigns supreme. Hear a funeral march that inspired Chopin, daring flights of improvisatory fancy, a gentle melody that conjures the image of the moon reflected on a lake, and more. Sir András Schiff, “a master of nuance and musical wisdom” (The Seattle Times), is one of the greatest interpreters and your guide for this journey through four remarkable sonatas.

Part of: Beethoven Celebration

Sir András Schiff is also performing April 5.


Sir András Schiff, Piano



Piano Sonata No. 12 in A-flat Major, Op. 26

Piano Sonata No. 13 in E-flat Major, Op. 27, No. 1, "quasi una fantasia"

Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp Minor, Op. 27, No. 2, "Moonlight"

Piano Sonata No. 15 in D Major, Op. 28, "Pastoral"

Lead support for the Beethoven Celebration is provided by The Morris and Alma Schapiro Fund.

National Endowment for the Arts: arts.gov

Public support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

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

The four early, consecutively numbered piano sonatas that we hear on this evening’s program were composed over a period of less than two years in 1800 and 1801, toward the end of what Beethoven’s biographer Lewis Lockwood calls his “first maturity.” Already an acknowledged master, the composer had an impressive clutch of masterpieces to his credit, among them 11 piano sonatas, three piano concertos, six string quartets, and a symphony. With the formally innovative Piano Sonata in A-flat Major, Op. 26, Beethoven boldly struck off in a new direction that would soon lead to the even more radically unconventional musical language and structure of the two fantasy-like Op. 27 piano sonatas. The comparatively conservative Piano Sonata in D Major, Op. 28, is largely suffused with a warmth and rustic gaiety that prompted Beethoven’s publisher to dub it the “Pastoral” Piano Sonata. According to his pupil Carl Czerny, however, the composer was partial to the darker strains of the slow movement. 

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