Friday, January 24, 2020

Beethoven and the Russians: Sobolev's Sixth Orbit

Sergey Sobolev
All Beethoven and Two Grand Russian Sonatas

Friday, January 24th and Sunday, 26th

Winner of Berliner International Music Competition, 2017

and prizewinner of the Tchaikovsky and Queen Elizabeth Competitions, among others

Friday 24th January, 6pm

All Beethoven

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Horowitz loved it!
Symphony no. 7 op. 92 transcribed for piano by Liszt. Of one the finest performances that Sergey gave us was the Liszt transcription of Symphony no. 3, Eroica. I have been begging him to do another one of the Liszt transcriptions. "Well, Mr Barton, it's a lot of work." Finally, he has agreed. 

In the words of Vladimir Horowitz, 

"these are the greatest works for the piano – tremendous works – every note of the symphonies is in the Liszt works."

"Eroica Variations"15 Variations and a Fugue for Piano in E-flat major on an Original Theme, Op. 35 

This work shares the theme from the Symphony No. 3, "Eroica". (Although the variations were written before the symphony.) It is highly virtuosic and requires a top notch pianist to perform it. This comment quoted from Hyperion website sums it up:

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"Best I have written"
Op 35 is a singular masterpiece: an extraordinary composite of passacaglia, chaconne, variation, fugue, canon, dance, aria, fantasy … a towering edifice of pianistic bravura, of orchestral allusion, of vocal suggestion.

Bagatelles op.126 Six miniature masterpieces. This is Beethoven's last major work for the piano. In Beethoven's own modest words, "Probably the best I have written". 

Sunday 26th January, 5pm

Two Grand Russian sonatas... and a bit of Chopin

Chopin: Two Nocturnes op.15 no1 and op.62 no1 and 
two Mazurkas op.30 no. 4 and op.50 no 3

Tchaikovsky Grand Sonata in G major op. 37
This is a work which Tchaikovsky found difficult to compose: "It doesn't come easily" he moaned to his brother. But was so delighted with the premier that, "I left the hall completely enraptured." It was written in 1878, a year before the first revision of the Piano Concerto no. 1. The sonata has many of the same rhythms and textures as the concerto, so if you like the concerto you will certainly appreciate the sonata. 
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Alexei Stanchinsky

Stanchinsky (1888 - 1914) Sonata in E flat minor (1906) One of music's tragic figures, died in 1914 at the age of 26. His sonata in E flat minor is reminiscent of Scriabin. It sits somewhere between Scriabin's third (bass line dotted rhythm) and fourth sonatas. Perhaps we could call it Scriabin's Sonata no. 3.5.

Like Scriabin, Stanchinsky suffered from mental health issues and was confined to an institution before being discharged as incurable. He was probably schizophrenic, with hallucinations and inexplicable rage. However, he had periods of normality and eventually went back to the Conservatory.He died mysteriously. After disappearing from his friend's estate his body was discovered, two days later, by a river bank. 
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Richter:"This is the richest"

Prokofiev:  Sonata no 8 in B flat major op. 84 This is one of Prokofiev's greatest works, the third of the so called 'war sonatas' written during WW2. It comprises three movements, beginning with a haunting lullaby and contrasting with a violent, gurgling allegro. The second movement is a brief, stately, andante, leading in to a rambunctious finale. Sviatoslav Richter said that the sonata was one of his three favourites: 

"Of all Prokofiev’s sonatas, this is the richest. It has a complex inner life, profound and full of contrasts."

Sergey Sobolev is a Russian pianist. He graduated from Moscow Conservatory and the Royal College in London. Sergey has visited Eelswamp on five previous occasions. He has a brilliant technical level, great musical taste and an encyclopedic knowledge of music.  According to at least two members of the audience Sergey's Scriabin was the best they had ever heard. Not surprising as Sergey is a student of one of the great Russian pianists and pedagogues, Mikhail Voskresensky, who won a prize at the first Van Cliburn Competition in 1962 and is head of the piano department at Moscow Conservatory.

In 2017 Sergey won first prize in the piano section of the Berliner International Music Competition. He performed his winning recital in the Berlin Philharmonic Hall. He is also a prizewinner of two of the world's most prestigious piano competitions: the Tchaikovsky Competition, Moscow and The Queen Elizabeth Competition, Belgium. Sergey has also won prizes in The Liszt Weimar Competition, Nikolai Rubinstein Competition, Scriabin International Competition Moscow and the Santander Competition.

Reservations: 1,200 baht for one concert. 2,000 baht for two in the same series. 

Email or call 038 069681 office hours. Due to limited number of places payment must be received before the day.

Tickets: No tickets will be issued for concerts. Admission to the music room on the day of the concert will be in accordance with the sequence of receipt of payment (ie, who pays first goes in first and can select their desired seat).

Cancellations and credits: Credit will be allowed for future concerts in the event of cancellation provided that the concert for which the original booking was made breaks even.

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