Sir András Schiff
Carolina Performing Arts Center
October 25th – 7:30PM
We are honored to provide the piano for Sir András Schiff’s performance at Carolina Performing Arts Center. This performance will feature our Bosendorfer 280VC Concert Grand.
After completing a 2-year project devoted to the final sonatas of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert, Sir András Schiff is going miniature this season. His third Carolina Performing Arts concert sees Mendelssohn, Brahms, and Bach drawing out the complexity within small forms.
Mendelssohn’s Fantasia in F# Minor (1828-29) was originally titled Sonate écossaise (Scottish Sonata), a title which was dropped by the time of its publication. Since it was written before his 1829 trip to Scotland, this piece is a chance to see the young composer’s fertile imagination at work. Its open sonorities presage the tumbling chords of the Hebrides Overture, while its unusual slow-fast-faster structure points back to Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata.
Straddling intermission are two sets of short character pieces by Brahms: 8 Klavierstücke (1878) and 7 Fantasien (1892). Taken together, these 15 intermezzos and capriccios see the composer pushing at the boundaries of form and development, melody and harmony. In the Klavierstücke, Brahms begins to expand towards his later, more discursive, style, fully exemplified in the Fantasien. The division between melody and accompaniment begins to narrow; harmonies teeter towards chromaticism, lingering occasionally on unsettled dissonances; and themes evolve in unexpected ways. The fourth piece of the Klavierstücke, an Intermezzo, features a diaphanous melody suspended like the haphazard strum of an Aeolian harp. And the fifth piece in the Fantasien, another intermezzo, places emphasis in all the wrong places, rending the meter almost to the breaking point. But then a classically Brahmsian melody or harmonic turn appears and everything snaps back into place. Both are bizarre yet strangely magical sets.