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

Jeremy Denk, Piano

Friday, February 1, 2019 8 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
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Jeremy Denk by Stefan Cohen
Hear inventive treatments of popular themes and homages to great masters in this program. Beethoven wrote virtuosic variations on a famous tune by Thomas Arne, as well as a theme of his own creation used in a country dance, the ballet The Creatures of Prometheus, and his famous symphony. Also hear John Adams’s tribute to legendary producer Bob Hurwitz, Schumann’s Beethoven-worship expressed in his passionate Fantasy, and more.

Part of: Keyboard Virtuosos I


Jeremy Denk, Piano


BEETHOVEN Five Variations on "Rule Britannia" in D Major
MENDELSSOHN Variations sérieuses
BEETHOVEN Fifteen Variations and a Fugue on an Original Theme in E-flat Major, Op. 35, "Eroica Variations"
SCHUMANN Fantasy in C Major, Op. 17

The Trustees of Carnegie Hall gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Simon Yates and Kevin Roon in support of the 2018-2019 season.

At a Glance

BEETHOVEN  Five Variations on “Rule Britannia” in D Major

At the beginning of the 19th century, the British were second only to the Viennese as fans of Beethoven’s music. The composer returned the compliment in this short set of bravura variations on the popular patriotic air “Rule Britannia.”


JOHN ADAMS  I Still Play

John Adams describes this beguiling miniature as a set of variations on a “generating harmonic progression.” It honors the former president of Nonesuch Records, the adventurous label with which both Adams and Jeremy Denk have been prominently associated.


BIZET  Variations chromatiques

Although Bizet’s piano music is less well known than his operas, it draws on the same well of lyricism and drama. Composed in 1868, the Variations chromatiques harks back to Beethoven’s 32 Variations in C Minor of 1806, which Bizet—himself a virtuoso pianist—had under his fingers.


MENDELSSOHN  Variations sérieuses

Mendelssohn hesitated before accepting a commission for an homage to Beethoven in 1841, but his fear that his music wouldn’t measure up to Beethoven’s was unfounded: The Variations sérieuses is widely considered a masterpiece on the order of the Diabelli Variations.


BEETHOVEN  An die ferne Geliebte (transcr. Liszt)

Beethoven serenaded his anonymous “Immortal Beloved” in this appealing song cycle, the title of which translates as To the Distant Beloved. Liszt’s transcription for solo piano preserves the intimate tone and folk-like simplicity of the original.


SCHUMANN  Fantasy in C Major, Op. 17

Like most of Schumann’s solo piano works of the 1830s, the C-Major Fantasy was a musical valentine to his future bride, Clara Wieck. It blends the personalities of the composer’s fictitious alter egos: the stormy Florestan and the dreamy Eusebius.

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