September 18, 2021
An excerpt from the program:
Schubert - Piano Sonate in C, D. 958
Liszt - Totentanz
Liszt - Valse Oubliee no. 1
Pianist Vitaly Pisarenko has a special bond with the music of Franz Liszt. Especially when the music gets grim, Pisarenko is in his element. No wonder this Ukrainian master pianist won the International Franz Liszt Piano Competition in Utrecht in 2008. In the Edesche Concertzaal, Pisarenko will literally play the introverted Schubert and the extravagant Liszt against each other.
Few composers were as productive at the end of their lives as Schubert. In the last months before his death, Schubert composed three great piano sonatas. The first, which Pisarenko plays in this concert, is the most dramatic of the three. But don't expect Schubert to deliver whimsical outbursts like those of his idol Beethoven. "When Schubert wants to tell you something important, he lowers his voice instead of raising it," pianist Paul Lewis says of Schubert's music. "He pulls you into the message, rather than carrying it out to you."
The contrast with the music of Franz Liszt could hardly be greater. Listen to the powerful war march in the piece 'Funerailles' or the stormy etude 'Chasse-neige'. Liszt's 'Totentanz' (or 'Danse macabre' in French) takes the prize in this respect. The piece consists of a series of variations based on the medieval Gregorian chant 'Dies irae' (Day of Judgement). Liszt included a number of breakneck passages for the pianist. Curious to see how Vitaly Pisarenko performs? Come and listen!