A Piano Recital by Jenny Chen and Andrew Hsu
A piano recital by Jenny Chen and Andrew Hsu, two students of the legendary pianist and pedagogue Gary Graffman. A Curtis graduate himself, Mr. Graffman has served on the Curtis faculty since 1980; from 1986 to 2006, he was the school's president. Mr. Graffman joins us to discuss these two talented young musicians. Their program:
Beethoven: Sonata No.28 in A major, Op.101
Jenny Chen, piano
Dating from 1816, this is considered the first of Beethoven's "late period" sonatas, culminating in No.32. By now, Beethoven's deafness was so complete, and his isolation from society so acute, that his music turned inward, freeing him to explore what he called "impressions and reveries." Can anyone doubt that Beethoven's private trauma, combined with technological changes in the piano, was finally leading the musical world into the Romantic era?
Liszt: Transcendental Etude No.5 "Feux follets"
Jenny Chen, piano
With Liszt's finger-busting piano music, we are now firmly established in the Romantic era at its ripest. This monumentally difficult exercise demands much of the pianist, both technically and expressively, as Liszt evokes the ghostly lights seen by nighttime travelers around bogs and marshes.
Schumann: Fantasie in C major, Op.17
Andrew Hsu, piano
Schumann dedicated this 1836 free-form sonata to Liszt. Gary Graffman describes this as a work of great profundity, which when performed properly, brings time to a standstill. It is yet one more example of the enormous contributions Schumann made to the piano, song and chamber literature.
Musical Word of the Week: Etude
A musical composition, usually instrumental, intended mainly for the practice of some point of technique. (from Dictionary.com)