This year’s concert at Carnegie Recital Hall is a most interesting program. Music and nature has always been intimately related. Many composers have been inspired by the sounds, sights and feelings of nature. Debussy’s “La Mer”, Copland’s ”Appalachian Spring.” Ferde Grofé’s “Grand Canyon Suite”, Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” Handel’s “Water Music”, Mahler’s “The Song of the Earth”, Beethoven’s “Pastorale” Symphony no. 6 to name a few. This inspiration comes not only from the water, the forest, the atmosphere, or the planets of the solar system but also the animals of the natural world… e.g. Debussy’s “Afternoon of a Fawn,” Ravel’s “Mother Goose Suite,” Saint-Saëns’ “Carnival of the Animals.” Vaughn Williams’ “The Lark Ascending,” Schubert’s “Trout” quintet, Stravinsky’s “Firebird,” Respighi’s “The Birds,” Haydn’s “The Hen” Symphony, Mussorgsky’s “Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks” and on and on with a plethora of examples too numerous to name.
This year’s concert includes nature’s sounds and experiences, the solar system and the animal kingdom.
First you might very well be drawn into the experience of drinking in the pure mountain air, or smelling the fall leaves when hiking in the forest in Liszt’s “The Sounds of the Forest,” or Dvorak’s “Silent Woods,” You might hear the ocean waves break on the beach in Debussy’s “Island of Joy,” or you might be moonstruck by the beauty of a full moon in Debussy’s “Clair de Lune.” Imagine the subtle shakes of the water as a majestic swan swims by on a still lake with its exquisite reflection mirrored in the water in Saint-Saëns “The Swan.” Afterwards you might be delighted by the darting movements of a buzzing bee in Rimsky-Korsakov’s “The Flight of the Bumblebee” as it flies through the royal courtyard.
Celebrating Clara Schumann
Clara Schumann was one of the most distinguished pianists of the Romantic era. During her long career, she exerted significant influence, even changing the format and repertoire of solo piano recitals. For example she was the first artist to play music for memory. Clara and her husband Robert also encouraged the young Brahms and she was the first to perform any works of Brahms publicly…most notably the Brahms Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Handel.
Clara began composing in her childhood. She said, “composing gives me great pleasure… there is nothing that surpasses the joy of creation, if only because through it one wins hours of self-forgetfulness, when one lives in a world of sound.”
You can hear her genius in the gorgeous Romance no. 3 in G minor opus 21. Katya Grineva celebrates Clara Schumann’s 200th birthday on September 13th with her performance.
The “Arpeggione” and Schubert’s Sonata in A minor
The “Arpeggione” is still one of the most popular pieces of the cello repertoire with its poignant melodies and dazzling virtuosity even though the instrument for which it was originally written is nearly extinct and wholly forgotten. The “Arpeggione” was a guitar-like fretted instrument with 6 strings but played with a bow like a cello.
The Schubert’s sonata in A minor by the same name is most commonly is played on a modern cello which makes it devilishly difficult. I don’t think it was Schubert’s intention to create such a challenging piece, instead the root cause for such trials stems from the vast difference of between the arpeggione and the modern cello.
Piano-Cello Duo Grineva-Duckwall Perform Benefit Concert at Carnegie
In partnership with the non-profit organization We’ve Got Rhythm, 100% of the concert’s profits will be dedicated to bringing underserved children to Katya’s holiday concert at Carnegie Hall, December 27, 2019. Marking the duo’s fourth consecutive Carnegie Hall concert, the program includes works inspired by nature written by Liszt, Debussy, Schubert, and more.