February At 92Y: Juilliard Quartet + Marc-Andr Hamelin; Behzod Abdumairov, Horszowski Trio In 92Y Debuts + Much More
February brings a stellar collaboration and two exciting debuts to 92Y's Tisch Center for the Arts. From repertoire staples to new works and rarities (Kurt g, Wuorinen, Orb n), there's much to appreciate warm music for a cold month.
>> Saturday, February 2 (8 pm): Behzod Abduraimov, piano (92Y Debut)
Behzod Abduraimov, whose solo recital on the main stage of Carnegie Hall two years ago at just 26 was hailed by The New York Times as brilliant, returns to New York City for the first time since that dazzling appearance to make his 92Y debut.
In a technically demanding program, Abduraimov showcases Liszt as both transcriber and composer, first in his virtuosic and moving transcription of Wagner's Isolde's Liebestod, created only two years after the premiere of Tristan und Isolde in 1867. It is remarkable for its fidelity to Wagner's music and its subtle approach to the sonority of the piano. Liszt's unrivalled masterwork, the revolutionary Sonata in B Minor, follows. The recital concludes with Prokofiev's own transcription of ten pieces from his ballet Romeo and Juliet. The Seattle Times called Abduraimov a pianist who has it all: silky delicacy, mighty thunder-power, rare clarity and the ability to draw a remarkable variety of tonal colors from the instrument.
>> Sunday, February 3 (3 pm): The Zukerman Trio
The illustrious Zukerman Trio, comprised of violinist Pinchas Zukerman, cellist Amanda Forsyth and pianist Angela Cheng, offers a rich program of enduring masterworks. Beethoven's tongue-in-cheek variations on Wenzel M ller's song, I am the tailor Cockatoo, shows the invention displayed in his Diabelli Variations. The piece precedes Russian composer Anton Arensky's elegiac and lyrical Piano Trio in D Minor, an essential staple of the Romantic trio repertoire. The second half of the program features Brahms' expansive second Piano Trio in C Major, a work the composer considered to be among his best.
Reviewing the Zukerman Trio, the San Diego Union-Tribune wrote, Their combination of outsized string sound, exciting ensemble precision and compelling interpretation puts them at the head of the Piano Trio division in the Chamber Music Major League.
>> Friday, February 8 (7:30 pm): Juilliard String Quartet + Marc-Andr Hamelin, piano
The Juilliard String Quartet brings its unparalleled artistry back to 92Y in a splendid program. The fifth of Haydn's Op. 76 quartets shows the composer struggling with the strict bonds of form, choosing radical keys and boundary-bursting musical constructs. Hungarian composer Gy rgy Kurt g's Six Moments Musicaux deals with formal strictures in different way: the six brief pieces do not strive for thematic unity, but instead attempt to comment individually on different emotions. Marc-Andr Hamelin, renowned pianist and 92Y favorite joins the quartet in the concert's second half for a performance of Dvo k's lyrical, folk music-inspired piano quintet one of the masterworks of the form.
According to The New York Times, the Juilliard String Quartet has a sound that has just about everything one wants from a quartet, most notably precision, warmth and an electricity that conveys the excitement of playing whatever is on their stands at the moment. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote that Marc-Andr Hamelin's playing is full of spellbinding technique and beautiful musicality.
>> Saturday, February 9 (8 pm): Manuel Barrueco, guitar
A superb instrumentalist with a seductive sound and uncommon lyrical gifts (Dallas Morning News), Manuel Barrueco returns to 92Y with a program from two of the most important sources of guitar repertoire: Cuba and Spain. Early Spanish colonists brought the guitar to Cuba in the 16th century; ever since, Cuban and Spanish guitarists have exchanged ideas, teaching methods, music and even the guitarists themselves. Barrueco, himself steeped in these rich traditions, celebrates this centuries-long collaboration in works by Renaissance composer Luis de M lan, Granados (who was born to a Cuban father), Alb niz, Juli n Orb n (born in Spain, raised in Cuba), and a pair of Cuban natives: Ignacio Cervantes (1847 - 1905) and H ctor Angulo (1932 - 2018). (As a side note, it was Angulo who was responsible for teaching American folksinger Pete Seeger the traditional Cuban song, Guantanamera.) The Los Angeles Times called Barrueco a major artist with remarkable musicianship and a world of technique... simply and consistently awesome.
>> Friday, February 15 (9 pm): The Horszowski Trio (92Y Debut)
The Horszowski Trio described as eloquent, enthralling by the Boston Globe makes its 92Y debut with two touchstones of the trio repertoire and a rare performance of a modern American work. In their performance of Schumann's first piano trio, the Horszowski Trio brings into sharp relief the composer's progression from gloom to ineffable joy before entering a very different sound-world: that of the great American composer Charles Wuorinen, whose piano trio is based on small, complex rhythmic gestures thrown between instruments. The anxious energy of Schumann's trio can be found in Wuorinen's; moments of tender writing for the strings are punctuated by jolts from the piano. Completing the program is Shostakovich's Piano Trio No. 2 a work by turns plangent and lyrical that culminates in a movement inspired by Schubert's second piano trio. The Horszowski Trio consists of Jesse Mills, violin; Raman Ramakrishnan, cello; and Rieko Aizawa, piano.
Saturday, February 2 (8 pm): BEHZOD ABDURAIMOV, piano
WAGNER/LISZT: Isoldes Liebestod, S. 447
LISZT: Sonata in B Minor, S. 178
Prokofiev: 10 Pieces from Romeo and Juliet, Op. 75
Tickets from $53
Sunday, February 3 (3 pm): THE ZUKERMAN TRIO, piano
BEETHOVEN: Variations on Ich bin der Schneider kakadu, Op. 121a
ARENSKY: Piano Trio No. 1 in D Minior, Op 32
BRAHMS: : Piano Trio No. 2 In C Major, Op. 87
Tickets from $53
Friday, February 8 (7:30 pm): JUILIARD STRING QUARTET and MARC-ANDRE HAMELIN, piano
HAYDN: String Quartet in D Major, Op. 76, No. 5 (Hob. III:79)
GYORGY KURTAG: Six Moments Musicaux, Op. 44
DVORAK: Piano Quintet No. 2 in A Major, Op. 81
Tickets from $35
Saturday, February 9 (8 pm): MANUEL BARRUECO, guitar
ANGULO: Cantos Yoruba de Cuba
CERVANTES: Cuban Dances
ORBON: Prelude and Dance
GRANADOS: La Maja de Goya, from 12 Tonadillas in ancient style
GRANADOS: A la cubana, Op. 36
ALBENIZ: selections from Suite Espanola, Op. 47
Tickets from $53
Friday, February 15 (9 pm): THE HORSZOWSKI TRIO
SCHUMANN: Piano Trio No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 63
CHARLES WUORINEN: Piano Trio (1983)