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horowitz piano series Boris Berman, artistic director

Hung-Kuan Chen

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

intermission


Johannes Brahms 1833–1897

Variations on a Theme by Paganini, Op. 35 Book I

Book II

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

As a courtesy to others, please silence all devices. Photography and recording of any kind is strictly prohibited. Please do not leave the hall during musical selections. Thank you.


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

nov 7

Wei-Yi Yang An all-Schumann program featuring the exquisite Kinderszenen, and more

nov 28

Melvin Chen An arrangement of Brahms’ Third Symphony and music by Ravel and Sibelius

jan 16

Peter Serkin A performance of Bach’s enduring “Goldberg” Variations, and works by Mozart

feb 13

Roberto Prosseda A pianist who commands “a fiery and fluent technique” – Gramophone

Mar 6

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.

sep 13

Ran Dank & Soyeon Kate Lee Cincinnati Conservatory

oct 4

Boris Berman

oct 11

Melvin Chen

nov 15

Wei-Yi Yang

nov 29

Hung-Kuan Chen


Thank you for your support! Become a Yale School of Music patron and support our performance programs. Earn benefits ranging from preferred seating to invitations to special events.

Yale School of Music Patron Program  To join or for more information, visit music.yale.edu/patron-program or contact us at 203 432–4158. All donors of $25 or more are listed in our printed concert programs.

charles ives circle $600 & above Victoria Keator DePalma paul hindemith circle $250–$599 Mr. & Mrs. Douglas Crowley Patty & Tom Pollard Lorraine D. Siggins horatio parker circle $125–$249 Nathan M. Silverstein Richard Sonder & Susan Monserud samuel simons sanford circle $50–$124 Jeffrey Alexander & Morel Morton Laura Berry & Bernard Hulin Judith Colton & Wayne Meeks Sue & Gus Davis Jay & Marjorie Hirshfield William & Irene Miller Sophie Z. Powell gustave j. stoeckel circle $25–$49 Paul Guida & Pat LaCamera Jon Resnik Peter & Wendy Wells List as of October 2, 2018

Gustave Jacob Stoeckel Circle $25–$49 Samuel Simons Sanford Circle $50–$124 Horatio Parker Circle $125–$249 Paul Hindemith Circle $250–$599 Charles Ives Circle $600 & above

The names of giving levels represent prominent figures from the history of the Yale School of Music.


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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Hung-Kuan Chen, piano, Oct 3, 2018  

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