November 13, 2021
Beethoven - Piano Sonata in f, op. 57, 'Appassionata'
Chopin - 24 Preludes, op. 28
Mozart - Piano Sonata in F, KV 332
Sensual, but also inspired and fiery. These are just some words that come to mind when listening to the sublime playing of Abdel Rahman El Bacha. At the Bösendorfer Imperial, the Lebanese pianist plays music by his three favourite composers: Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin. El Bacha is famous for his impressive programmes. He has previously toured the world with, among others, the complete piano works of Beethoven and Chopin.
In the Edesche Concert Hall, El Bacha combines Mozart's Piano Sonata, KV 332 with Beethoven's 'Sonata Appassionata', op. 23. The two pieces differ like day and night. Mozart's sonata is balanced, noble and optimistic. Beethoven's sonata sounds passionate and full of contrasts. It is one of the most passionate piano works that Beethoven wrote. Besides the fact that Beethoven technically demands a lot from the pianist, the music also touches on the limits of the piano of the time. Apart from the fact that Beethoven chose the violent key f, the f was also the lowest tone on his piano.
El Bacha takes the contrasts between Mozart and Beethoven even further with Chopin's 24 Preludes. A prelude is literally a 'prelude', but Chopin does not elaborate on the story he started. All the preludes stand on their own, with their varying characters and musical atmospheres. Delicate and passionate, exactly like Abdel Rahman El Bacha's piano playing.