Vitaly Pisarenko – 2nd March 2019

Piano recitals are an ideal medium for our ‘chamber’ concert evenings. Apart from the shared intimacy afforded by the the full range of tones of our wonderful Steinway concert grand, it enables us to allocate more space to seating than is possible when we host larger ensembles.

I am therefore delighted to announce that for our 2nd March concert that renowned young Ukrainian keyboard master, Vitaly Pisarenko, will perform a varied programme of works by Brahms, Schumann, Liszt and Chopin.

Vitaly Pisarenko, born in Kiev, gave his first public recital at the age of 6, and after winning First Prize at the International Franz Liszt Piano Competition in 2008, Vitaly performed in over 25 countries worldwide – from Korea to Chile and Indonesia to Brazil – as well as in several French, German, Dutch and Italian Music Festivals.

He has made extensive international tours with leading orchestras, and performed in London at the Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, St John’s Smith Square and St James Piccadilly. Later this year he will perform in Netherlands, Mexico, Turkey, Hong Kong and South Africa.

1st Half – Brahms & Schumann

In the first half of his recital Vitaly will perform the irresistibly haunting Theme & Variations (Op. 18b) of Brahms’ own piano rendition of the second movement of his String Sextet, dedicated to Clara Schumann as a birthday gift; followed by his Opus 4 Scherzo.

He will then perform Robert Schumann’s exhilarating G Minor Sonata – the first movement of which is famously marked ‘to be played as quickly as possible’. Schumann obviously had a keen sense of humour, because near the end it is marked “faster” and, just before the close, “faster still”! The gentle slow movement is followed by a breathtaking finale.

2nd Half – Liszt & Chopin

We shall hear two of Chopin’s Scherzos, and Liszt’s two Ballades. Liszt’s B Minor Ballade is linked to the Byzantine myth of Leander and Hero, the priestess of Aphrodite, who dwelt in a tower on the European side of the Dardanelles. Her lover, Leander, would swim every night across the Hellespont, guided by a lamp lit by Hero at the top of her tower… until one stormy night the wind blew out Hero’s light, Leander lost his way and was drowned. Hero, grief-stricken, threw herself from her tower.

You will gather that this promises to be an exceptional programme, and we are privileged to have secured Vitaly’s attendance in the midst of his impossible schedule of international tours. Not to be missed!

Those of you who completed the advance booking sheet at our concert on 2nd February need not respond to this email invitation, but if you have not booked you will appreciate the importance of responding soon – this will assuredly be a sell-out.

For full booking instructions, including suggested donations, please have a look at our concerts page. We look forward to welcoming you on 2nd March.

Atsuko Kawakami – 2nd February 2019

Our star performer on this occasion will be the brilliant Japanese pianist Atsuko Kawakami, in her first Maxability solo performance, and her selection of timeless gems provides us with one of our most memorable recital programmes ever!

The programme details are as follows:

  1. Sonata in C Major by Galuppi, a contemporary of Scarlatti.
  2. Beethoven’s Sonata in F Minor, Op.57 (‘Appassionata’) – one of his most profound keyboard masterpieces.
  3. Granados’ Op. 11 Suite, ‘Goyescas’, usually considered the composer’s crowning creation, inspired by the paintings of Goya. This haunting, evocative piece, No 4 in the suite, is sub-titled ‘The Maiden and the Nightingale’.
  4. Frederic Chopin: Polonaise in C Sharp Minor, Op.26 No.1; Mazurka in A Minor, Op. 17 No.4; and Atsuko will conclude her recital with his breathtaking 4th Ballade in F minor Op. 52.

With less than two weeks to go, there are now only EIGHT places still available at this concert. Please book very soon if you would like to attend.

For full booking instructions, including suggested donations, please have a look at our concerts page. We look forward to hearing from you, with best wishes to all of you for 2019.