horowitz piano series Boris Berman, artistic director
Wednesday, October 3, 2018 | 7:30 pm Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Memorial Hall
Robert Blocker, Dean
Program Ludwig van Beethoven 1770–1827
Diabelli Variations, Op. 120 Theme. Vivace Variation I. Alla marcia maestoso Variation II. Poco allegro Variation III. L’istesso tempo Variation IV. Un poco più vivace Variation V. Allegro vivace Variation VI. Allegro ma non troppo e serioso Variation VII. Un poco più allegro Variation VIII. Poco vivace Variation IX. Allegro pesante e risoluto Variation X. Presto Variation XI. Allegretto Variation XII. Un poco più moto Variation XIII. Vivace Variation XIV. Grave e maestoso Variation XV. Presto scherzando Variation XVI. Allegro Variation XVII. Allegro Variation XVIII. Poco moderato Variation XIX. Presto Variation XX. Andante Variation XXI. Allegro con brio – Meno allegro Variation XXII. Allegro molto, alla ‘Notte e giorno faticar’ di Mozart Variation XXIII. Allegro assai Variation XXIV. Fughetta. Andante Variation XXV. Allegro Variation XXVI. Piacevole Variation XXVII. Vivace Variation XXVIII. Allegro Variation XXIX. Adagio ma non troppo Variation XXX. Andante, sempre cantabile Variation XXXI. Largo, molto espressivo Variation XXXII. Fugue. Allegro Variation XXXIII. Tempo di Minuet moderato
Johannes Brahms 1833–1897
Variations on a Theme by Paganini, Op. 35 Book I
Theme. Variation I. Variation II. Variation III. Variation IV. Variation V. Variation VI. Variation VII. Variation VIII. Variation IX. Variation X. Variation XI. Variation XII. Theme. Variation I. Variation II. Variation V. Variation VI. Variation VII. Variation VIII. Variation IX. Variation X. Variation XI. Variation XII. Variation XIII. Variation III. Variation IV. Variation XIII. Variation XIV.
Non troppo Presto. A minor A minor A minor A minor A minor A minor A minor A minor A minor A minor A minor Andante. A major A major Non troppo Presto. A minor A minor Poco Animato. A minor A major Poco più vivace. A minor A minor Allegro. A minor A minor Veloce, energico. A minor Vivace. A minor Un poco Andante. F major Un poco più Andante. A minor A minor Poco Allegretto. A major A minor Allegro. A minor
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Artist Profiles Hung-Kuan Chen, piano Born in Taipei and raised in Germany, Hung-Kuan Chen’s career was launched when he won First Prize at the Young Concert Artists’ Auditions, which presented him in his New York debut on the Young Concert Artists Series and followed that with a concert at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. One of the most decorated pianists of his generation, Chen has won top prizes at the Arthur Rubinstein, Ferruccio Busoni, and Géza Anda international piano competitions, along with prizes at the Queen Elisabeth, Montreal, Van Cliburn, and Chopin international competitions. He is a recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. Chen has appeared in the music capitals of Asia, Europe, and the Americas and collaborated with many major orchestras. He has performed with such highly esteemed conductors as Hans Graf, Christoph Eschenbach, and Josef Silverstein; with colleagues Yo-Yo Ma, Cho-Liang Lin, David Shifrin, and others; and with pianists Tema Blackstone and Pi-hsien Chen. Hung-Kuan Chen has served as the chair of the piano department of the Shanghai Conservatory and is Director of the International Piano Academy in Shanghai. In 2009, he was appointed to the piano faculty of the New England Conservatory. He is Visiting Professor of Piano at the Yale School of Music.
Program Notes Diabelli Variations, Op. 120 Beethoven Patrick Jankowski In 1819, Anton Diabelli, a successful Austrian publisher and composer, sent his own theme to several famous composers, requesting one variation from each. The compilation was meant to raise money for widows and children of fallen soldiers in the Napoleonic Wars. Beethoven wrote not just one, but thirty-two variations, which he revisited off-and-on for four years. Whether Beethoven set out to compose a masterpiece on an epic scale, or discovered one along the way, the work’s monumental quality was recognized immediately, with Diabelli’s printed introduction to the first edition teasing: “the most original structures and ideas, the boldest musical idioms and harmonies are here exhausted; every pianoforte effect based on a solid technique is employed, and this work is the more interesting from the fact that it is elicited from a theme which no one would otherwise have supposed capable of a working-out of that character in which our exalted Master stands alone among his contemporaries.” Diabelli’s waltz that “no one would otherwise have supposed capable” yielded remarkable results. These variations are a supreme example of Beethoven’s use of motive, wherein he constructs large forms from minute gestures: the composer examines the frivolous waltz with a high-powered microscope, discovering details which others would neglect, and expanding them into obsessive and complex feats of imagination. While these variations may lead your mind to wander to strange and beautiful places, take note at number 22: a
famous opera makes an appearance, followed by a rage-filled attempt at finger practice, and a fugue nodding respectfully to Bach, whose Goldberg Variations are possibly this work’s only true ancestor.
Variations on a Theme by Paganini brahms Aaron Levin Upon first hearing Brahms’ Variations on a Theme by Paganini, Clara Schumann jokingly deemed it “Hexenvariationen,” or Witch’s Variations, because of its extreme technical difficulty. Written in 1863 and based on Paganini’s Caprice No. 24 in A minor, Brahms structured each variation as a “study,” in a nod to the étude-like demands of the piece. It was specially composed for virtuoso Carl Tausig, who was considered one of the best pianists of his time and also one of the most notable students of Franz Liszt. This is seemingly fitting since the Variations have an opulent flashiness normally associated with Liszt’s music, but which is notably uncharacteristic of Brahms. In fact, Liszt had written his own set of variations based on Paganini, and the two composer-performers are known for their showy virtuosity. Brahms’ synthesis of this splashy style with a rich emotional depth and compositional clarity makes the Paganini Variations a paragon of piano music. It is at once technically dazzling and spiritually fulfilling, and thus distinctly Brahmsian.
Horowitz Piano Series 2018–2019 Season sep 13
Ran Dank & Soyeon Kate Lee A piano four-hands performance of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, and more
oct Hung-Kuan Chen 3 “A deeply probing, imaginative player” – The Boston Globe oct 24
Boris Berman A performance of late sonatas by Haydn and Prokofiev
Wei-Yi Yang An all-Schumann program featuring the exquisite Kinderszenen, and more
Melvin Chen An arrangement of Brahms’ Third Symphony and music by Ravel and Sibelius
Peter Serkin A performance of Bach’s enduring “Goldberg” Variations, and works by Mozart
Roberto Prosseda A pianist who commands “a fiery and fluent technique” – Gramophone
Robert Blocker An artist of “great skill and accomplishment” – Los Angeles Times
Piano Master Classes 2018–2019 Season All master classes take place from 10:30 am–1 pm in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Memorial Hall.
Ran Dank & Soyeon Kate Lee Cincinnati Conservatory
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Upcoming Events oct 9 Brentano String Quartet Oneppo Chamber Music Series YSM’s exceptional quartet-inresidence, the Brentano String Quartet, performs music by Dvorák, Janácek, and Smetana. 7:30 p.m. | Morse Recital Hall Tickets start at $28, students $13
nov 7 Wei-Yi Yang, piano Horowitz Piano Series Faculty pianist Wei-Yi Yang performs an all-Schumann program that includes the exquisite Kinderszenen. 7:30 p.m. | Morse Recital Hall Tickets start at $15, students $7
oct 24 Boris Berman, piano Horowitz Piano Series Faculty pianist Boris Berman performs Haydn’s “London” Sonatas and late sonatas by Prokofiev. 7:30 p.m. | Morse Recital Hall Tickets start at $15, students $7
nov 13 Escher String Quartet Oneppo Chamber Music Series The Escher String Quartet performs music by Mozart, Korngold, and Beethoven. 7:30 p.m. | Morse Recital Hall Tickets start at $28, students $13
Oct 26 Jean-Marie Zeitouni, guest conductor Yale Philharmonia Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique and works by Saint-Saëns and Debussy. 7:30 p.m. | Woolsey Hall Tickets start at $12, Yale faculty/ staff $8, students $5
nov 28 Melvin Chen, piano Horowitz Piano Series Faculty pianist Melvin Chen performs an arrangement of Brahms’ Symphony No. 3, and works by Sibelius and Ravel. 7:30 p.m. | Morse Recital Hall Tickets start at $15, students $7
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