Wednesday, 22 October 2014

The Piano in Glasgow

Being a theatre writer, I proudly march into other areas of performance and shout that I understand exactly what is happening here. However, that review I did of Beethoven's First when I spent 500 words complaining that some guy got in the way of the orchestra and kept waving a stick at them might have destroyed my musicological credibility. Consequently, I now try and sit next to David Kettle and copy his notes at the interval. 

Anyway, if you want to see me make a fool of myself, the City Halls are putting on their annual Piano festival (it's year four and counting). I'll be somewhere at the back, hoping that there isn't too much of the difficult stuff... then I look at the programme and realise I might be okay...

Saturday 8 November

Judith Weir Arise! Arise!

Adès Piano Quintet
Schubert Notturno in E flat major, Op.148 (D.897)
Adès Darkness Visible

“Artistry incarnate – that was Beatson” Sunday Times
An outstanding pianist himself, Tom Adès writes wonderfully for the piano and his Piano Quintet is fantastical and brilliant. Not short on references to the grand Romantic tradition of piano quintets – Schubert, Brahms, Dvorák – it bristles with new ideas and possibilities. The wonderful young Scottish pianist Alasdair Beatson joins Hebrides Ensemble for this special performance.

Well, I am sure to spot the references.

Recital Room, City Halls (unreserved seating)
Haydn Sonata in D, Hob.XVI:24
Schubert Sonata in D major, D.850
Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition

“flawless technique, combined with a healthy musical approach, intense lyricism and a beautiful touch.” Trouw (The Netherlands)

Denis Kozhukhin is no stranger to Glasgow having thrilled audiences with his stunning performances of Prokofiev and Rachmaninov concertos in recent seasons. We’re delighted to present his debut recital of Classical and Romantic favourites, with Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition delivering a mighty climax:
“… in Kozhukhin’s hand it rose to the final peroration with magnificent, unforced grandeur.” Daily Telegraph

I thought I would be okay with Haydn and Mussorgsky (they use Pictures to introduce classical music to the kids, sometimes). But I have no idea what a peroration is. David?

Grand Hall, City Halls (reserved seating)



Scarlatti Sonatas in F minor Kk.466, E Kk.380 and B minor Kk.377

Janácek In the Mists

Schumann Faschingsschwank aus Wien, Op.26

“a profoundly gifted artist” Gramophone

A prizewinner at the Scottish International Piano Competition, Apekisheva has forged a multi-faceted career as soloist and chamber musician. This solo recital juxtaposes the brilliance and poise of Scarlatti with Janácek’s passionate miniatures and Schumann’s Viennese Carnival scenes.

Recital Room, City Halls (unreserved seating)


Shostakovich Piano Sonata No.2 in B minor, Op.61

Beethoven Quartet No.11 in F minor, Op.95, ‘Serioso’

Shostakovich Piano Quintet in G minor, Op.57

“The popularity of mercurial Elisabeth Leonskaja… has never been higher, perhaps because she is one of “the last of the great Russian school”” Sean Rafferty, Bach Track

Hang on, is there really a magazine called Bach Track? 

One of the world’s greatest pianists teams up with one of the greatest quartets for an unmissable pairing of Shostakovich and Beethoven. Georgian pianist, Elisabeth Leonskaja was rewarded with a standing ovation in 2012. Here she plays music very close to her heart due to her strong association with Shostakovich and his music, not least his hugely popular Piano Quintet.

I'll be fine here: I like Shostakovich. I can hunt for clues about the pressure of Soviet censorship during the quiet parts... and he is one of those relatively modern composers who can do all the fancy technical stuff, but still likes a good tune. A Russian tune, so pretty tough, but I can dig it.
Grand Hall, City Halls (reserved seating)

This is just the first weekend. I am going to continue you this as soon as I find my Idiot's Guide to Classical Music.

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