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R1 Paul Lewis

25. 10. 2021
19:00 p.m.
Dům kultury města Ostravy
from 200 CZK

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Songs Without Words (selection)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major, K. 331

Alexander Scriabin
Five Preludes for piano, Op. 74

Modest Mussorgsky
Pictures at an Exhibition, a suite of ten pieces for piano

 

Paul Lewis – piano

 

Thirty-six compositions for piano, while the first and the last piece were written twenty-six years apart. Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy composed in different places during his whole, albeit short, life. At the time, the piano was a common possession among the town folk and short, relatively undemanding, yet creative pieces became very popular.

The Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major, K 331 – yes, that is the Mozart’s sonata whose third movement is known as the Turkish March! The second movement – Minuet and Trio, however, also deserves attention. The minuet was composed in the style of Italian dances, which were the latest craze at the time. And the first movement? A lovely theme and variation.

The work of Alexander Scriabin has its own peculiar character. If sometimes we imagine artists as ecstatic beings from another world, Scriabin would be a good prototype, just like his music. In his work, he gradually reached a very loose tonality, he invented and used his “mystic chord”, he experimented with visual aspects of music and so-called light piano even. His work has a profound philosophical subtext, and the Five Preludes is the last opus he wrote before his sudden death in 1915.

Painter Viktor Hartmann was a friend of Mussorgsky. They were familiar with each other’s work and lead discussions about them. In 1873, however, Hartmann suddenly died of cardiac arrest. Mussorgsky was deeply saddened by his death. A year later, he attended an exhibition of Hartmann’s work and everything else that he was working on at the time was pushed to the side – the composer dedicated himself to writing an unconventional suite which today belongs to the most performed pieces.