Pianist Laura Kargul to Give Solo Recital

Pianist Laura Kargul to Give Solo Recital

Laura Kargul, internationally acclaimed pianist and Director of Keyboard Studies at the University of Southern Maine School of Music will give a solo recital, "A Night at the Opera," at Corthell Concert Hall at USM in Gorham on Friday, October 13 at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $15 adults; $10 seniors, USM employees and alumni, $5 students

Information at http://usm.maine.edu/music/boxoffice

Kargul's program will feature solo piano works by Mozart, Chopin and Liszt that were influenced by the genre of opera. She will open with the Mozart Sonata in C Minor, K. 457, which she calls "one of the most dramatic and operatic of all his keyboard works." She notes that most of Mozart's solo keyboard works are "rich with the theatrical musical gestures and sudden changes of character and mood typically found in his operas."

Also featured on the program will be a set of four nocturnes by Frédéric Chopin, who, according to Kargul, "was profoundly influenced by the operas of his brilliant contemporary and friend, Vincenzo Bellini. These nocturnes, with their soaring Italianate melodies, are like soprano arias for solo piano."

Composer and pianist Franz Liszt also paid tribute to the world of opera but he preferred to create virtuoso solo piano transcriptions of other composers' operatic works. Composers usually welcomed his arrangements, knowing that his wildly popular performances of the transcriptions would give favorable publicity to their operas. Kargul will play two of Liszt's most beloved transcriptions, the "Liebestod" from Wagner's Tristan and Isolde, and the Réminiscences de Norma, based on Bellini's opera. " Norma is perhaps the most ravishingly beautiful of all of Liszt's transcriptions. And Norma happens to be one of the operas that inspired Chopin to develop his operatic voice on the piano," says Kargul.

Kargul has appeared as a soloist, chamber musician, adjudicator and master teacher throughout Europe and the USA, as well as in Canada and the West Indies. She has been greeted with critical acclaim in venues such as the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Schleswig-Holstein and Nordhessen Music Festivals in Germany, the Opera Theater and Music Festival of Lucca in Italy and the Evian Music Festival in France. A noted Liszt interpreter, she is one of very few artists ever invited to perform a full recital on Liszt's own Bechstein piano at the Liszt-Haus in Weimar. Her solo CD of Liszt's virtuoso transcriptions, Liszt and Ravel: Transcriptions for Piano, was produced by Grammy winner Bob Ludwig of Gateway Mastering. She is also a popular lecturer and locally she is often featured on the Portland Ovations Pre-Performance Lecture Series at Merrill Auditorium. Her informative and humorous comments from the stage have become a trademark of her performances.

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