On Stage at Curtis

Student Recital: Schumann and Prokofiev

A varied student recital featuring:

Schumann: Etudes Symphoniques in C-sharp minor, Op.13
George Xiaoyuan Fu, piano
Robert Schumann’s Symphonic Etudes (Études Symphoniques) is a set of studies for solo piano. It began in 1834 as a theme and sixteen variations on a theme by Baron von Fricken, plus a final variation on a different theme by Heinrich Marschner. In the finished edition we have twelve etudes, nine of which are variations on the Fricken theme. And very much evident in the variations are “Florestan and Eusebius,” who personify the dynamic and introverted poles of Schumann’s personality and music.

Prokofiev: Violin Concerto #2 in G minor, Op.63
Zeyu Victor Li, violin; Jungeun Kim, piano
Dating from 1935, Serge Prokofiev’s second concerto was written for the virtuoso Roberto Soetens, who gave the premiere in Madrid that year. Elements of Russian folk song waft through the first two movements, with nods to Spain featuring castanets in the finale (which of course we will not hear in this violin/piano version.) The concerto’s three movements are marked Allegro moderato; Andante assai; and Allegro, ben marcato.

Music Word of the Week: Etudes
“…The study [etude] was above all designed to encourage amateurs by wrapping up the necessary technical practice in a piece that was interesting to play and tolerable to listen to…” (from the Oxford Dictionary of Music)


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