PIANO WEEK International Festival & Summer School 2021
Freemasons’ Hall is proud to be hosting two concerts during the 2021 PIANO WEEK International Festival & Summer School
PIANO WEEK presents: STEPHEN KOVACEVICH & Samantha Ward (Guest Artists Series)
Date: Saturday, 7th August 2021
Time: 7 pm
Location: Freemasons' Hall, 60 Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5AZ
In the closing recital of PIANO WEEK’s new residency in London, the festival welcomes back, for the fifth time, one of the most universally acclaimed pianists of all time, Stephen Kovacevich. Admired around the globe for his searching interpretations of Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart and Schubert, Kovacevich joins forces with the festival’s founder and director Samantha Ward in the first part of the concert in a profound programme of works for two pianos. Opening with Mozart’s light-hearted Andante and Variations in G major (1786), with its charming figurations, sparkling textures and elegant phrasing, the artists offer the audience the two-piano version of Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune (1895), set to seduce the listeners with its countless elusive harmonies, ambiguous tonalities and ground-breaking textures of rare poetry. In a true display of pianistic brilliance, a suite for two pianos, En blanc et noir (1915) follows next. Bringing a rather more ominous sound world to the fore, the composer’s deeply personal work, full of literary allusions, had its passionate adversaries at the time. Amongst them, Camille Saint-Saëns, whose remark ‘we must at all costs bar the door of the Institut de France against a man capable of such atrocities’, made its way onto the pages of music history books. Stephen Kovacevich concludes the concert with Beethoven’s antepenultimate Sonata in E major Op. 109 (1820), yet another extraordinary experiment in form, full of warmth and serenity, which gradually weaves its way to a final sigh.
We hope that you enjoy this performance in the magnificent Grand Temple and that we will be able to welcome you back every time PIANO WEEK visits Freemasons’ Hall. If you would like to know more about the festival or are thinking of joining the summer school as an active participant, please visit pianoweek.com for more information.
Mozart Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791)
Andante and Variations in G major KV 501
For two pianos/four hands
Claude Debussy (1862 - 1918)
Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune
For two pianos
En blanc et noir L.134
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 - 1827)
Sonata No. 30 in E major Op. 109
Vivace ma non troppo – Adagio espressivo
Gesangvoll, mit innigster Emfindung. Andante molto cantabile ed espressivo
This performance will last approximately 1 hour, with no interval.
£15 – Concessions
FREE ENTRY - for the festival’s participants