Hélène Grimaud

2015 Artist-in-Residence

Fri, July 31, 2015, 8:00pm

Overview

Riding the wave of her wildly innovative tears become… streams become… at the Park Avenue Armory and subsequent world tour, 2015 Artist-in-Residence Hélène Grimaud brings a hauntingly powerful program of eau-themed favorites to our warm summer stage.

“This selection of music is not meant to be a bibliographical juxtaposition of all pieces for piano ever to bear a title having to do with the theme of water,” said Grimaud. “Were that to be the case, I would of course present quite a few additional works by Liszt, Ravel and Debussy to name only the most obvious. Most of the 20th century pieces seem to focus more on the colourful, decorative, atmospheric and poetic nature of water. To complete the range of expressive possibilities, a return to the source (no pun intended) seemed inevitable.”

Berio Wasserklavier
Takemitsu Rain Tree Sketch II
Fauré Barcarolle No. 5, Op. 66
Ravel Jeux d’eau
Albéniz Almeria
Liszt Les jeux d’eaux à la Villa d’Este
Janáçek In the mists
Debussy  La cathédrale engloutie
Brahms Piano Sonata No. 2, Op. 2

Grimaud shares her thoughts on Brahms

She could be called a Renaissance woman for our times. Hélène Grimaud is not just a deeply passionate and committed musical artist whose pianistic accomplishments play a central role in her life. She is a woman with multiple talents that extend far beyond the instrument she plays with such poetic expression and peerless technical control. The French artist has established herself as a committed wildlife conservationist, a compassionate human rights activist and as a writer.

Grimaud was born in 1969 in Aix-en-Provence where she began her piano studies at the conservatory with Jacqueline Courtin and subsequently under Pierre Barbizet in Marseille. She was accepted into the Paris Conservatoire at just 13 and won first prize in piano performance a mere three years later. She continued to study with György Sándor and Leon Fleisher until, in 1987, she gave her well-received debut recital in Tokyo. The same year the renowned conductor Daniel Barenboim invited her to perform with the Orchestre de Paris.

This marked the launch of Grimaud’s musical career; one highlighted by concerts with most of the world’s major orchestras and many celebrated conductors. Her recordings have been critically acclaimed and awarded numerous accolades, among them the Cannes Classical Recording of the Year, Choc du Monde de la musique, Diapason d’or, Grand Prix du disque, Record Academy Prize (Tokyo), Midem Classic Award and the Echo Award.

Between her debut in 1995 with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Claudio Abbado and her first performance with the New York Philharmonic under Kurt Masur in 1999 – just two of many acclaimed musical milestones – Grimaud made a wholly different kind of debut: in upper New York State she established the Wolf Conservation Center.

Her love for the endangered species was sparked by a chance encounter with a wolf in northern Florida which led to her determination to open an environmental education centre. “To be involved in direct conservation and being able to put animals back where they belong,” she says, “there’s just nothing more fulfilling.”

But Grimaud’s engagement doesn’t end there: she is also a member of the organisation Musicians for Human Rights, a worldwide network of musicians and people working in the field of music to promote a culture of human rights and social change.

For most people, establishing and running an environmental organisation or having a flourishing career as a musician would be accomplishment enough. Yet, remarkably, Hélène Grimaud has also found time to pursue writing. Her first book, Variations Sauvages, was published in French in 2003 and subsequently translated into English, Japanese, Dutch and German. Her second book, Leçons particulières, which is part novel and part autobiography, followed in 2005. Most recently she published Retour à Salem, also a semi-autobiographical novel, which was released in French in October 2013.

Despite her divided dedication to these multiple passions, it is through Grimaud’s thoughtful and tenderly expressive music-making that she most deeply touches the emotions of audiences. Fortunately, they have been able to enjoy her concerts due to her extensive touring around the world. Throughout this season, Hélène will perform her new recital programme inspired by ‘water’ in the US, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy, UK and France. In December 14, she will make her debut at the Park Avenue Armory performing her recital programme as part of a large scale installation created by the artist Douglas Gordon – tears become…streams become… Her orchestral engagements include her return to the Berlin Philharmonic with Valery Gergiev, Orchestre national de Lyon with Leonard Slatkin and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra with Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

In September 2013, Deutsche Grammophon released her album of the two Brahms piano concertos; the first concerto with Andris Nelsons conducting the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the second recorded with the Vienna Philharmonic. When she took the Brahms on tour to Southeast Asia, The Straits Times of Singapore said: “Her playing was distinguished by superb timing and consistency of touch, and seamless interplay between piano and orchestra.”

Grimaud is also an ardent and committed chamber musician who performs frequently at the most prestigious festivals and cultural events with a wide range of musical collaborators that has included Sol Gabetta, Thomas Quasthoff, Rolando Villazón, Jan Vogler, Truls Mørk, Clemens Hagen and the Capuçon brothers.

An exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist since 2002, her album prior to the Brahms concertos was Duo, a collaboration with cellist Sol Gabetta, which won the 2013 ECHO Award for “chamber recording of the year”. The disc was released in October 2012 and that autumn the pair gave a series of concerts in Germany and France, performing the cello sonatas by Schumann, Brahms, Shostakovich and Debussy which are featured on the disc. The album’s repertoire originated as an inspired recreation of a concert they gave at the 2011 Gstaad Festival and which the Berner Zeitung described at the time as “breathtaking” while BBC Music Magazine commented that “. . . in the grand first movement [of Brahms’ Cello Sonata No. 1] Hélène Grimaud produces a context of almost orchestral depth and spaciousness into which Gabetta projects her eloquently refined lines.”

Previous releases include her Mozart Piano Concertos No. 19 and No. 23, a disc released in 2011, which also featured a collaboration with singer Mojca Erdmann on a recording of Mozart’s Ch’io mi scordi di te?. Grimaud’s 2010 release, the solo recital album Resonances, featured music by Mozart, Berg, Liszt and Bartók. Other DG recordings by Grimaud include Bach’s solo and concerto works in which she directed the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen from the piano bench, and a Beethoven disc with Staatskapelle Dresden and Vladimir Jurowski, Reflection and Credo (both of which feature a number of works linked thematically), a Chopin and Rachmaninov Sonatas disc, a Bartók CD with Grimaud playing the Third Piano Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra under Pierre Boulez and a DVD release of Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra under the direction of Claudio Abbado.

Hélène Grimaud is undoubtedly a multi-faceted artist. Her deep dedication to her musical career, both in performances and recordings, is reflected and reciprocally amplified by the scope and depth of her environmental and literary pursuits.

About the Music

 

Luciano Berio /1925-2003/ Wasserklavier (1965)

Luciano Berio was the most internationally prominent Italian composer of his generation. Music came to him as a birthright. Both his father and grandfather were composers and church musicians, and he began studying piano and composition with his father while still a schoolboy. After the war, Berio went to Milan, where he studied law briefly but also attended the composition classes of Ghedini at the conservatory.

Italy’s musical life was conservatively eclectic, for the most part. The sole exception among leading composers was Luigi Dallapiccola, whose influence on Berio was significant, though, ironically, the two Italian composers had to travel to Massachusetts to meet. In the summer of 1951 Berio held a fellowship in composition at Tanglewood; that same summer Dallapiccola was composer-in-residence. His marriage to the singer Cathy Berberian also played a major role in his output, because he conceived a number of vocal pieces for her extraordinary vocal ability. Though most of his music is for acoustical instruments, he created the first Italian masterpiece of electronic music. His music often embraced social and political concerns, and he wrote several large works that by implication criticize a musical genre while creating a contemporary model for it, and giving it a generic title: Sinfonia (his best known work in this country), Opera, and Coro. He has also written an extended series of showpieces for diverse solo instruments under the generic title Sequenza.

Over the space of a quarter century, twice in the 1960s and twice in the 1980s, he composed four different works for solo piano whose titles referred to the ancient “four elements”—earth, air, fire, and water. All four of the works are keyboard miniatures, the first two under two minutes each, and the last two under three minutes each. Wasserklavier, the first of these miniatures (originally for piano, four hands), offers a surprising “interlude” of tonal music in the midst of Berio’s investigations at the time. It evokes the flow of memory as layers of water, links to Schubert’s Impromptu, Opus 142, No. 1, and Brahms’s Intermezzo, Opus 117, No. 2.

 

Toru Takemitsu/1930-1996/ Rain Tree Sketch II

Toru Takemitsu was far and away the best-known Japanese composer of the 20th century. He came late to music, but then developed a style that is uniquely his own, emphasizing color and texture, with little reference to traditional theory. Silence is as important as sound in his works. Takemitsu’s art is typically Japanese in being frequently inspired by very precise, concrete images suggested by poems or works of art. At the same time, one often senses a reflection of French music, especially of the impressionists, in his work, with a kind of floating motion avoiding strong rhythmic drive, but reveling in sonority and color for their own sakes. (This description is most accurate for music Takemitsu wrote for himself, so to speak, as opposed to music that he wrote for films, in which he naturally followed the mood and character of the plot, sometimes producing work that one would never guess was his.)

There was a first Rain Tree Sketch, composed in 1982, the first of several Takemitsu works inspired by a story entitled “The Clever Raintree,” by the Nobel Prize-winning author Kenzabuo Oe. The tree in question has many small leaves that collect rain “cleverly” so that it is always falling in small drips (hence the name of this type of tree).

Rain Tree Sketch II, composed in 1992 as a memorial tribute to Olivier Messaien, is easily understood as a work in straightforward ABA form, gently luminous in its expression of the composer’s indication “Celestially light.”

 

Gabriel Fauré /1845-1924/ Barcarolle No. 5, Op. 66

Fauré is heard most often in recital as a composer of songs, particularly the dreamy, evanescent settings of the poetry of Verlaine. But he devoted as much attention to piano music over a span of more than a half-century; his first piano work was composed in 1864, when he was nineteen, and his last piano works came in 1921, when he was seventy-six. In this realm, his music is far more lucid and classical in conception, inspired to a substantial degree by Chopin, a fact evident from the very names of the genres that Fauré most often chose: nocturne, ballade, prelude, barcarolle, impromptu, valse. These are genres of pure abstract music-making, not literary or programmatic in character.

In the minds of many, the Barcarolle No. 5 marks a high point in Fauré’s investigation of the genre. Composed in the summer of 1894 in a friend’s country home at Bas-Prunay, it moves far beyond earlier treatments of the barcarolle (= boat song) genre, with its soft gentle rocking and sweet lyric melody. Rather it quickly builds to a passionate intensity that carries the listener along. It is also Fauré’s first piano work without any self-contained sections (of the type normally alternated to create an easily audible musical shape). The changes that occur are usually in meter, yet with thematic ideas derived from the beginning of the piece in a highly integrated way. The meter is mostly 9/8 (occasionally alternating with 6/8), but Fauré frequently subdivides beats so as to suggest an amazingly flexible variety of motion, not unlike the rippling waters that the boat traverses.

 

Maurice Ravel /1875-1937/ Jeux d’eau

Jeux d’eau, composed in 1901, seems to have been inspired, at least for its title, from Franz Liszt’s 1883 musical image of flowing sprays of water in Les Jeux d’eau à la Villa d’Este, a Renaissance palazzo in Tivoli, not far from Rome, where the location on a steep mountainside allowed the redirecting of a stream through an extensive series of fountains and grottos and sculptural delights. It is not clear whether Ravel had a specific “play of water” in mind, but he quoted a line from Henri de Regnier’s La Cité des eaux (“The City of Waters”) on his score: “Dieu fluvial de l’eau qui le chatouille” (“A river god laughing at the water that titillates him”), and this surely motivates the ecstatic joy and sensuality that fills the piece. Like Liszt, Ravel makes great technical demands on the performer, building the score with two themes (the second pentatonic and hence more “natural”) and advanced harmonies, building to a passage in the cadenza combining the triads of C major and F-sharp major: a decade later, this distinctive bitonal sonority would characterize Stravinsky’s puppet Petrushka.

 

Isaac Albéniz /1860-1909 / Almeria

Isaac Albéniz is to Spain what Aaron Copland is to the United States—a prime force in the creation of a truly national music. There is a popular bon mot to the effect that the best Spanish music has been written by French and Russian composers. Certainly during the nineteenth century, the use of Spanish rhythms and melodic turns as an exotic device was much used by composers as diverse as Lalo, Bizet, Rimsky‑Korsakov, and Victor Herbert. In the early years of this century, too, both Debussy and Ravel made much use of the Spanish idiom. But by that time the influence had become a two‑way street. Isaac Albéniz, after showing precocious gifts as a pianist (he played his first recital at the age of four) traveled widely to perform and study. His peripatetic youth took him to Argentina (as a stowaway at the age of twelve!), Brazil, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and all the way across the United States to San Francisco. He returned to Spain in 1873, then went to study with the distinguished pedagogues of the Leipzig Conservatory, Salomon Jadassohn and Carl Reinecke.

Further concertizing led to a meeting with Liszt in 1880, with whom he perfected his piano technique. This was a crucial encounter for Albéniz, but equally important was his acquaintance with the Spanish composer and musicologist Felipe Pedrell, who encouraged him to delve into the musical resources of his own country, and who opened up to him the riches of true Spanish music, as opposed to the flashy imitations of foreign visitors. Following several years in London, where he wrote operas to librettos written by an English banker (!) in return for financial support from the banker, he visited Paris in 1893, where he had connections with Debussy, Fauré, d’Indy, and Dukas. He became a teacher at the Schola Cantorum in Paris, where he lived, on and off, for nearly ten years. He was, of course, active as a composer and pianist during this time, and thus was part of the great ferment of musical activity that we lump under the general designation of “impressionism.”

Albéniz’s music combines elements of Lisztian display, Spanish folk music, and impressionist harmony. In the latter connection, he was as much an innovator as Debussy and Ravel, whose piano works owe much to Albéniz. Far and away his most important work is the suite of twelve piano compositions collected under the title Iberia. Though this suggests evocations of Spain as a whole, most of the scenes and places referred to in the music are Andalusian, where Moorish culture still predominates. Albéniz published the work in four books over a period of years. Alméria is the second piece in Book II, published in 1906 with a dedication to Blanche Selva.

Like most of the twelve pieces, Alméria is an impression rather than a programmatic depiction of Spanish life. The musical gestures grow out of folk song and dance, but take on a life of their own in the brilliant pianistic framework. Many of the pieces have at their center a copla—a lyrical “sung” interlude in the middle of an otherwise “danced” composition. (Of course, the distinction between “sung” and “danced” refers to the traditional music that is here sublimated into high art.) Alméria grows out of the alternation and elaboration of two musical ideas, a gently rocking 6/8 theme and one containing many repeated notes ending in a turn figure. These alternate in imaginatively varied textures.

 

Franz Liszt /1811-1886/Les jeux d’eaux à la Villa d’Este

In the period when he was most active as a virtuoso, Liszt traveled widely, especially during the years 1835‑39, when he was living with his mistress, the Countess Marie d’Agoult, who had left her husband for him and who bore him three children (one of them, Cosima, was to become the wife of Richard Wagner). In 1838 alone he completed first versions of his Paganini etudes, the Transcendental etudes, and most of the works later to be included in his Années de pèlerinage (Years of Pilgrimage), published in three volumes, the first of which (1855) was labeled “Switzerland,” the second (1858) “Italy,” and the third (1883) left untitled.

Under the title Années de pèlerinage, in its three volumes (plus a supplement to Book II), Liszt collected twenty-three extraordinarily varied works containing everything from an operatic paraphrase to folk-song settings.

Les Jeux d’Eau à la Villa d’Este comes from Book III (or “Year III,” as he called it), published in 1883, long after the rest. It consisted of more recent works, mostly composed in the 1870s. Though there is a strong Italian element in the works collected here, Liszt chose not to give the book a national subtitle as he had done with the previous volumes. Four of the seven pieces in the book are works of mourning or lamentation (no doubt partly because Liszt had by this time taken minor orders in the Catholic Church and could be called “Abbé”).

During that period he spent several months of the year at the beautiful Villa d’Este in Tivoli, in the mountains south of Rome, a pleasure spot built into a steep mountainside by Cardinal Ippolito d’Este in the 16th century. The grounds were shaded with magnificent cypresses; the cardinal’s architect had created a spectacular play of waters in torrents and fountains of all kinds by re-routing the course of a river into the channels constructed down the hillside from the villa itself. The fountains have run for nearly five centuries, since the only force required to operate them is that of gravity. From the beginning the site has been regarded as a marvel of architectural invention, and it remains a favorite tourist destination.

The third “year” of the Années included no fewer than three works composed in response to the villa and its gardens and fountains. Two of them are powerful, funereal images, both called “To the cypresses of the Villa d’Este.” The third is this brilliant showpiece capturing “The Play of Waters at the Villa d’Este” with a kind of brilliant, splashy pianism that would influence the impressionists and be recalled by Ravel in his Jeux d’Eaux. Characteristically, at this stage of his life, Liszt chose to turn the reference to the waters into a Biblical citation from the Gospel of John, which prefaces the music: “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him…”

 

Leoš Janáček /1854-1928 / In the Mist

At the opposite extreme from such youthful prodigies as Mozart, Schubert, and Mendelssohn are those composers whose mastery develops very slowly, but steadily, leading to a series of masterpieces written at an advanced age. The 18th-century French opera composer Rameau was one of these. Until he was fifty he had composed nothing but a single book of harpsichord pieces; then suddenly he produced the first of three dozen operas that established him as a master. Among recent American composers there were two—George Perle and Elliott Carter—who continued to create astonishing new works into their 90s (and in Carter’s case, past 100).

Leoš Janáček, too, began his most notable artistic achievement after the age of fifty. Though he had composed prolifically from the mid-1870s in just about every possible medium—piano and chamber music, orchestral work, opera, choral pieces and folk music arrangements—it was only with the premiere in January 1904 of his opera Její pastorkyna (“Her Step Daughter,” known outside of Czechoslovakia as Jenufa) that he produced a piece widely recognized as a masterwork. From 1904 until his death in 1928—his fiftieth to seventy-eighth years—Janáček composed seven more powerful works for the musical theater, most of which are now firmly establish in the repertory.

One of Janáček’s most prominent characteristics is the striking rhythmic flexibility of his melodic lines, a flexibility derived from his years of immersion in Moravian folk music and speech patterns. This awareness naturally served him well in writing operas. But it also affected the melodic character of his purely instrumental works. His thematic ideas have personality, and some of them are demonstrably settings of texts—only with the text omitted.

Janáček’s piano music, too, is characteristic of the man. Though he had early on intended to make his career as a performer, he did not compose the kind of virtuosic showpieces with which many pianist-composers display their close acquaintance with their instrument. Rather he sought always to be intensely expressive.

In the Mist sounds like the title of a prelude by Debussy, though Janáček probably knew little, if any, of the French master’s work. The “mist” here seems to refer to the personal doubts as to the validity of his calling as a composer. When he wrote these four movements, Jenufa had been successfully performed in Brno, but not yet in Prague or elsewhere, and it is likely that he regarded its positive reception as a friendly gesture to a local musician, and little more. In this work, the composer himself is his protagonist, his thoughts fragmented and quickly changing as he considers the possibilities of his life and his future when he was already almost sixty. Even the sweet folk-like opening of the third movement keeps turning into insecurities and doubts.

 

Claude Debussy /1862-1918 /La cathédrale engloutie

Debussy was a superb pianist, and he composed important piano works all his life. In 1910 and 1913 he published two books of preludes, relatively short, colorful works identified by a term already honored in music history particularly from its use with the “preludes and fugues” of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier and the Préludes of Chopin. Bach’s and Chopin’s preludes were purely abstract compositions, each growing from a single musical idea or gesture and with no verbal indication of its significance or inspiration.

Unlike his predecessors, Debussy quietly appended a word or phrase to each of the movements in his preludes, making more explicit the image that the music might be expected to conjure up. They are wonderfully varied and evocative, making them miniature tone poems in just a page or two. It is worth recalling that the composer put the title at the end of each piece, not at its head, as if to suggest that we should not worry about their meaning, but simply to accept them as hints—and even then, after experiencing the music.

These two sets, of a dozen pieces each, come at a point when he was moving far beyond the delicate salon-music elements of his early piano music to a newer, subtly mature style. Some of the preludes look back, others forward.

La Cathédrale engloutie (“The Sunken Cathedral”) is among the most famous of the preludes—and among the most explicitly visual. It was inspired by an old Breton legend that the Cathedral of Ys sank beneath the waves in the fourth or fifth century, owing to the impiety of the populace, but that it can be glimpsed at dawn as a reminder and a warning. Debussy’s atmospheric music simultaneously recreates a sense of the sea’s rocking, music of the Middle Ages (with hints of chanting and parallel fifths), the bells of the cathedral ringing (at first far away and faintly), and a mysterious sense of mistiness overall.

 

Johannes Brahms/1833-1897/ Piano Sonata No. 2, Op. 2

In May 1853, the twenty-two year old violinist Joseph Joachim came to play the Beethoven Violin Concerto at the Lower Rich Festival. Joachim had been famous across Europe since the age of twelve, when he had performed the Beethoven under the direction of Mendelssohn at a time when no one, quite literally, played it. By seventeen, Joachim had become a teacher at the Leipzig Conservatory, then became for a time the concertmaster of Liszt’s orchestra in Weimar, before getting fed up with Liszt’s melodramatic musical indulgences. Now, in May 1853, he was playing the Beethoven again; at this time he developed a close relationship of mutual admiration with Robert and Clara Schumann.

Soon after this appearance, Joachim was visited by an old school acquaintance, a fiery Hungarian violinist named Edward Reményi, who was touring with an accompanist who was also a young composer. He was a shy, gawky, but extraordinarily nice looking lad of twenty, with long blond hair and striking blue eyes. Graciously Joachim agreed to hear this young man play one of his own compositions. He recalled the day a half century later: “Never in the course of my artist’s life have I been more completely overwhelmed.”

The shy young pianist turned out to be a veritable demon at the keyboard, and he played two sonatas (as well as some other smaller pieces). One of these sonatas, in C major, clearly had taken its inspiration from Beethoven’s gigantic Hammerklavier sonata, Op. 106, which was as little known as the Beethoven violin concerto (though Joachim recognized the reference); the other, in F-sharp minor, was challenging and difficult, daring and ultra-romantic. Almost at once Joachim and the blond North German stripling founded a friendship both artistic and personal on the basis of their artistic idealism that would last (with a few breaks) for the rest of their lives.

The youth, of course, was Johannes Brahms. Joachim wrote to his friends the Schumanns and urged them to make the acquaintance of Brahms—and he urged Brahms to stop by and visit the Schumanns when he was in Düsseldorf. When the meeting took place, Brahms again sat at the piano and performed the same pieces. That night Schumann wrote tersely in his diary: “Visit from Brahms (a genius).”

During an extended visit of several months (during which time they were joined also by Joachim), Brahms developed many musical friendships and saw the extraordinary article, “New Paths,” that Schumann wrote about him. He also owed to Schumann the opportunity to introduce himself to the public in print. He chose to publish the C-major sonata with a dedication to Joachim as his Opus 1 and the F-sharp minor sonata as Opus 2 (though it had been composed earlier than the C-major work) with a dedication to Clara Schumann. Thus his first two published works also memorialize the two longest and most profound friendships of his life.

The opening of the F-sharp minor sonata can still astonish an audience today, particularly an audience that knows the mature Brahms, the composer of ripely autumnal scores that suggest a remarkable maturity even in early middle age. The sonata is the outburst of a wild teenager, feeling his strength, yet one who also had the rare gift of shaping a large piece as a whole—even already at this early date. The first movement almost overwhelms the listener with its air of Sturm und Drang, its feverish energy. Though we think of Brahms as the composer who honored the classical models even in his romantic view, this sonata is not yet as contained as he was later to become. Yet even here there are elements that link the seemingly diverse passages in their unfolding.

Brahms composed the second movement first; it is the movement that most clearly foreshadows the mature composer in its imaginative variation treatment of a simple melody, a song ascribed to a 13th-century Minnesinger, Kraft von Toggenburg. This is the earliest surviving example of a Brahms variation set, a genre in which he would prove to be one of the greatest masters of all time. Here he is relatively restrained in treating the melody, but each variation rings wonderful new changes on the piano sonority. Only the last variation gets somewhat carried away with bravura effects.

It runs directly into the Scherzo, which in fact suggests another variation, since it begins with a motif identical to the opening of the theme in the previous movement. The trio is brightly tuneful in a way that points to Brahms’s long-lasting love for Schubert. At the return of the scherzo material, the climax shows the young virtuoso trying to leave his audience with gaping mouths.

The last movement, like the first, rather emphasizes the percussive qualities of the piano and is less intimately expressive than the middle movements, but, like many works created by young artists, it makes sure that the audience will take note of the arrival of a new figure on the cultural stage.

© Steven Ledbetter