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Michael Brown Solo Recital Programs for 2019-20 Season

Program 1: Beethoven’s Legacy, part 1

Beethoven’s influence on music is boundless. This program features one of his grand achievements and monumental creations, the Hammerklavier Sonata. The first half explores music by Haydn, who taught Beethoven; Mendelssohn, who wrote his Variations sérieuses in order to raise money to erect a Beethoven statue in Bonn, and Liszt who is said to have premiered Beethoven’s Hammerklavier in public. My own composition, For LVB, is a celebratory tribute to the great master.

Haydn: Fantasia in C major Hob. XVII:4 (6 mins)

Mendelssohn: Variations sérieuses, Op. 54 (11 mins)

Michael Brown: For LVB (2018) (5 mins)

Liszt: from Années de pèlerinage, Suisse:
Au bord d'une source (Beside a Spring) and Orage (Storm) (9 mins)

-- intermission --

Beethoven: Piano Sonata no. 29 in B-flat Major, Op. 106, “Hammerklavier” (42 mins)


Program 2: Beethoven’s Legacy, part 2

Part 2 explores selections from Beethoven’s Bagatelles and those inspired by him to write their own. Russian composer-pianist Nikolai Medtner said that no other composer influenced him like Beethoven, and his Second Improvisation is a masterful theme and variation set evoking a fairy tale world. The program concludes with Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata, a revolutionary work beloved to us all.

Beethoven: Selected Bagatelles from Op. 33/119/126 (15 mins)

Nikolai Medtner: Second Improvisation, Op. 47 (23 mins)
Theme: Mermaid's Song
Var. 1: Charms
Var. 2: Caprice
Var. 3: Fancies
Var. 4: The Feathered Ones
Var. 5: In the Stream
Var. 6: The Tumult of the Crowd
Var. 7: In the Woods
Var. 8: A Wood-Goblin
Var. 9: Elves
Var. 10: Gnomes
Var. 11: Dark Incantation
Var. 12: Mermaid's Song
Var. 13: Bad Weather

-- intermission --

Selected Bagatelles (10 minutes):
Sibelius: from Six Bagatelles, Op. 97, no. 5 “Impromptu”
Bartók: from Fourteen Bagatelles, Op. 14, no. 14 “Waltz”
Alexander Tcherepnin: from Ten Bagatelles, Op. 5, No. 6
Saint-Saens: from Six Bagatelles, Op. 3, No. 2

Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp Minor “Quasi una fantasia, Moonlight" (18 mins)

(Please note that these Beethoven-inspired programs can comprise a series of two concerts, or may be performed independently of each other.) 


Program 3: Boats and Barcarolles: A program of works inspired by water  

Chopin: Barcarolle in F-sharp Major, Op. 60

Couperin: Les gondoles de Delos

Ravel: Miroirs
Noctuelles (Night Moths)
Oiseaux tristes (Sad Birds)
Une barque sur l'océan (A Boat on the Ocean)
Alborada del gracioso (The Comedian's Aubade)
La vallée des cloches (The Valley of Bells)

-- intermission --

Bartók: Out of Doors, Sz. 81
With Drums and Pipes
The Night's Music
The Chase

Mendelssohn: Songs Without Words in A Minor Op. 62, No. 5, "Venetian Gondellied"

Michael Brown: Mini Barcarolle (2017)

Mendelssohn: Songs Without Words in F Sharp Minor, Op. 30, No. 6, "Venetian Gondellied"

Liszt: Legend No. 2, St. Francis of Paola Walking on the Waves

Note on "Mini Barcarolle" (2017)

The waxing and waning movements of the sea have long served as an artistic muse for composers over the centuries. While conceiving the program "Boats and Barcarolles," I was so struck by how viscerally each composer recreated this undulating sensation while staying true to their individual musical style. With "Mini Barcarolle," I was inspired myself to try to capture the inexorable ebb and flow of one of Nature’s great forces in my own harmonic language.

-- Michael Brown, 2018




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Posted: Oct-11-2019
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