On Stage at Curtis

Student Recital: Schumann and Franck

A student recital featuring Andrew Hsu, Patrick Williams, and Amy J. Yang. The program:

Schumann: Fantasiestuecke, Op.12
Andrew Hsu, piano
These eight “Fantasy-Pieces” date from 1837, and were inspired by a series of novellas by E.T.A. Hoffmann. Each piece portrays a different side of Schumann’s volatile mood swings. Today, we refer to “dual personality,” but in the more florid 19th century, Schumann assigned poetic personalities to his warring impulses. “Florestan” personified the passionate, impulsive Schumann, while “Eusebius” represented the dreamer. Each character is vividly represented in this delightful 20-minute work.

Franck: Sonata for Flute and Piano in A major
Patrick Williams, flute; Amy J. Yang, piano
What we’re hearing is one of several transcriptions of music originally written by Cesar Franck for violin and piano. This is a generous and warm-hearted work, appropriately so, since Franck composed it for the French violin virtuoso Eugene Ysaye as a wedding present in 1886. Ysaye returned the favor by championing the work for the rest of his career, helping to establish the reputation of the hitherto obscure composer. The four movements are marked: Allegretto ben moderato; Allegro; Recitativo—Fantasia; Allegretto poco mosso

Musical Word of the Week: Allegro
“‘Bright, Lively.’ The term was originally used as an expression mark rather than a tempo indication…but it now simply means ‘quick’. It is also used for a fast piece or movement, particularly the first movement, in sonata form, of a sonata, symphony, or similar multi-movement work.” (from The Oxford Companion to Music)

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