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Michael Brown Solo Recital Programs for 2020-21 Season

Program 1: Folk and Fairy Tales

The works on the program share common inspirations of folklore, nature, and the mythological world. Haydn’s humorous Fantasia in C Major “Capriccio" is based on the Austrian folk song Do Bäuren hat d'Katz valor'n, "The farmer's wife has lost her cat."

Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy were commissioned in 1909 (along with four others) to write short homages to commemorate the centenary of Haydn’s death. Alongside their tributes, I include the world premiere of my own Etude-Fantasy on the name of Haydn featuring the same pitches used by Debussy and Ravel musically spelling out H-A-Y-D-N.

The first half concludes with Ravel’s Miroirs, one of his most inventive, evocative, and large-scale contributions to the piano repertoire.

Russian composer-pianist Nikolai Medtner’s fascinating Second Improvisation veers towards a darker and more brooding world. His Second Improvisation is a masterful set of harmonically complex variations, which depicts a fairy tale world of birds, elves, gnomes, goblins, and mermaids. Including in this performance are the premieres of two newly discovered variations by yours truly.

Haydn: Fantasia (Capriccio) in C Major, HOB. XVII:4
Debussy: Hommage à Haydn
Ravel: Menuet sur le nom d'Haydn
Michael Brown: Etude-Fantasy on the name of Haydn (2020, world premiere)
Ravel: Miroirs
I. Noctuelles (Night Moths)
II. Oiseaux tristes (Sad Birds)
III. Une barque sur l'océan (A Boat on the Ocean)
IV. Alborada del gracioso (The Comedian’s Aubade)
V. La vallée des cloches (The Valley of Bells)

-- intermission --

Nikolai Medtner: Second Improvisation, Op. 47
Theme: Mermaid's Song
Var. 1: Meditation
Var. 2: Caprice
Var. 3: The Feathered Ones
Var. 4: Charms
Var. 5: Fancies
Var. 6: In the Stream
Var. 7: The Tumult of the crowd
Var. 8: In the Woods
Var. 9: A Wood-Goblin
Var. 10: Elves
Var. 11: Gnomes
Var. 12: Incantation
Var. 13: The Threat
Var. 14: Risoluto (premiere)
Var. 15: Cadenza (premiere)
Var. 16: Mermaid's Song
Var. 17: Bad Weather


Program 2: Fantasies and the Moonlight

Mendelssohn: Fantasy in F-sharp Minor, Op. 28
Michael Brown: Surfaces (2016)
Beethoven: Sonata Quasi una Fantasia Op. 27, No. 1, “Moonlight”

-- intermission --

Mendelssohn: Fantasy on the Last Rose of Summer, Op.15
Scriabin: Fantasie in B Minor, Op. 28
Chopin: Polonaise-Fantasie, Op. 61


Program 3: The Mighty Hammerklavier 

Mendelssohn: Sonata in B-flat Major, Op. 106
Rachmaninoff: Preludes
E-flat major, Op. 23, No. 6
B minor Op. 32, No. 2
C# minor, Op 3, No. 2
G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5

-- intermission --

Beethoven: Sonata in B-flat Major, Op. 106 “Hammerklavier”


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Posted: Oct-11-2019
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