Pianist Carlo Grante Makes D.C. Debut Tonight at the Kennedy Center
The spirit of Johann Sebastian Bach will suffuse the Terrace Theater of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts tonight, May 14, 2014, as Italian pianist Carlo Grante makes his first concert appearance in the nation's capital, in a program containing not a single note of Bach's music.
"Chopin's Preludes, Op. 28, form the composer's most dense and varied set of works," states Mr. Grante, "possibly the most comprehensive example of Chopin's sound-world. They were inspired by Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier and its concept of a journey through the twelve major and minor keys, with a unique breadth in terms of character, mood, invention, melodic and harmonic vocabulary. As in the Bach, Chopin's Preludes embody the essence of his compositional and keyboard idiom.
"Hearing this set next to twelve of Godowsky's Studies on Chopin's Études provides a rare insight," he continues, "suggesting how Chopin's music could have developed had he combined, as Godowsky did, 'Chopin's sonority with Bach's polyphony' (Godowsky's own words). Just as Chopin's music cannot get any denser, stylistically, than in the 24 Preludes, its hypothetical development cannot get any more complex and challenging, pianistically, than in the notorious Godowsky Studies, which have been selected, in this program, to provide a version by Godowsky for each of the twelve original Études, Op. 10 by Chopin."
In his book The Great Pianists, Harold C. Schonberg states, "[Godowsky's] most elaborate series - and they are probably the most impossibly difficult things ever written for the piano - are his fifty-three paraphrases of Chopin's etudes. These are fantastic exercises that push piano technique to heights undreamed of even by Liszt."
Fabio Luisi, Principal Conductor of the Metropolitan Opera as well as General Music Director of the Zurich Opera, has stated, "Carlo Grante is one of the most astonishing artists I have ever known and worked with. A challenging collaborator, his artistry is permeated with the deepest knowledge in many fields, not just the arts. Interesting for me as a musician and conductor is the way he approaches a musical work: considering it as expression of time, environment, and the composer's own personal, social and cultural experience. With Carlo's fantastic technical and analytical skills, the music comes alive in a way which sounds new, sometimes unexpected, but always both logical and natural. Working with Carlo Grante is for me an enrichment in musical experience and understanding, as it is for his audiences."
(subject to change)
Carlo Grante, piano
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.
Terrace Theater • The Kennedy Center
2700 F Street NW • Washington, DC 20566
FRÉDÉRIC CHOPIN: 24 PRELUDES, OP. 28
1. Agitato - C major • 2. Lento - A minor • 3. Vivace - G major • 4. Largo - E minor
5. Molto allegro - D major • 6. Lento assai - B minor • 7. Andantino - A major
8. Molto agitato - F-sharp minor • 9. Largo - E major • 10. Molto allegro - C-sharp minor
11. Vivace - B major • 12. Presto - G-sharp minor • 13. Lento - F-sharp major
14. Allegro - E-flat minor • 15. Sostenuto - D-flat major ("Raindrop")
16. Presto con fuoco- B-flat minor • 17. Allegretto - A-flat major • 18. Molto allegro - F minor
19. Vivace - E-flat major • 20. Largo - C minor • 21. Cantabile - B-flat major
22. Molto agitato - G minor • 23. Moderato - F major • 24. Allegro appassionato - D minor
LEOPOLD GODOWSKY: 12 ÉTUDES ON CHOPIN'S ÉTUDES, OP. 10
(from 53 Studies on the Études of Chopin)
1. (Op. 10 No. 1) in C major - Allegro maestoso
4. (Op. 10 No. 2) in A minor - Allegro "Ignis fatuus"
5. (Op. 10 No. 3) in D-flat major - Lento, ma non troppo - for the left hand alone
6. (Op. 10 No. 4) in C-sharp minor - Presto - for the left hand alone
8. (Op. 10 No. 5) in C major - Vivace
13. (Op. 10 No. 6) in E-flat minor - for the left hand alone
14. (Op. 10 No. 7) in C major - Vivace "Toccata"