Friday, November 8
8:00 pm - 10:15 pm
Anna returns for her third performance at Rhosygilwen
CPE Bach: Piano Sonata in A major, No.4 W55
Beethoven: Piano Sonata in D minor, No.2 Op31
Schubert: 12 Deutsche Ländler, D790
Schubert: Der Wanderer Fantasie, Op15
Described by Gramophone Magazine as embodying “superb pianism and intelligent musicianship”, Anna Tsybuleva shot into the international spotlight in 2015 when she was crowned First Prize Winner of the Leeds International Piano Competition.
Heralded as one of the finest pianists of her generation, she is enjoying work with such maestros as Sir Mark Elder, Michał Nesterowicz and Yuri Temirkanov, and in recital on such stages as Beijing PAC, Tonhalle Zürich, and the Wigmore Hall.
Now a regular performer in major cities worldwide, Tsybuleva’s early experiences were more modest: born in 1990, she was raised in a small Russian village of approximately 500 inhabitants, where nature and the beauty of her surroundings proved a constant source of inspiration. These beginnings have served to feed directly into the development of her unique performance style today, which is one of captivating intimacy: drawing the listener into a private sphere of music-making in even the largest of concert halls.
CPE Bach (1714-1788): Sonata in A major, Wq.55 No.4
I Allegro Assai
II Poco Adagio
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was born in Weimar in 1714, the second son of Johann Sebastian Bach. He attended the Latin School in Cöthen, where his father became Court Kapellmeister in 1717 and in 1723 moved with the family to Leipzig, where he became a pupil at the Thomasschule, where his father was Cantor. Although he graduated in law in 1731, in 1738 he entered the service of the Crown Prince of Prussia as harpsichordist. He moved with the court to Berlin in 1740 on the accession to the throne of the Prince, better known subsequently as Frederick the Great. As Court Harpsichordist, he had the unenviable task of accompanying evening concerts at which the King, an amateur flautist, was a frequent performer.
As a composer Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was prolific, writing a considerable quantity of music for the harpsichord and for the instrument he much favoured, the clavichord. He spent the last twenty years of his life in Hamburg where he continued to enjoy his established position as a man of wide general education, able to mix on equal terms with the leading writers of his generation and no mere working musician. He died in 1788, his death mourned by a generation that thought of him as more important than his father, the latter disrespectfully dubbed ‘the old periwig’ by his sons.
The Sonata in A major, Wq.55/4, was written in 1765 and published in 1779 as one of a set of six sonatas, Sechs Clavier-Sonaten für Kenner und Liebhaber (Six Clavier Sonatas for Connoisseurs and Amateurs). The first classical movement leads to an F sharp minor Adagio in which one writer has perceived an affinity with the slow movement of Mozart’s Piano Concerto in A major, K.488. The sonata ends with an Allegro that seems to suggest a vein explored by Haydn.
Beethoven (1770-1827): Sonata in D minor, Op31 No 2
I Largo – Allegro
For his Sonata Op 31 No 2 (“Tempest”), Beethoven chose the key of D minor, his only piano sonata in this key. He didn’t use this key often, but when he did, it meant something special (his ninth symphony is the obvious other example). It is said that when Anton Schindler asked Beethoven what this sonata was about, Beethoven angrily retorted “Read Shakespeare’s Tempest”!
The restless first movement starts with a Largo of two bars that reappears several times later on. The broken chord motif of the Largotogether with its agitated answer, form the basis of the whole movement.
The second movement, Adagio, is one of Beethoven’s most glorious slow movements (Czerny called it ‘elevated’). Its character is noble, its effect soothing.
The nervous finale is almost a moto perpetuo, yet its continuous semiquaver motion never becomes monotonous. The second subject contains a touch of cross-rhythm and the long development, based entirely on the first theme is full of striking and unexpected modulations. There is a tragic feeling which continues right to the end, when the music disappears into a void.
Schubert (1797-1828): 12 Deutsche Ländler, D790
By April 1823, Schubert’s health had collapsed to such an extent that it was necessary for him to be admitted into a hospital. Schubert’s suffering was intense and during May he wrote a poem in which he begs for divine comfort. It was against this frightful backdrop that the Zwölf Deutsche Ländler (Twelve German Dances) for piano, D. 790, were composed; but the dances are by no means always depressing or overtly impassioned — they don’t really express Schubert’s agony, but rather transport him from it onto a plane on which such worldly matters mean nothing. Achieving such a transportation using what would seem to be just a bunch of earthy dances is something that perhaps only Chopin managed with the same kind of success.
This is some of the most deeply intimate music Schubert ever put to paper. The fact that pianists are often reluctant to play them in public and that they seem to remain forever on the fringe of the keyboard repertoire may be the most potent statement of how obviously private they really are. They remained unknown to the public until the mid-1860s, when Johannes Brahms took it in hand to edit them.
Schubert: Der Wanderer Fantasie, D760
The colossal ‘Wanderer’ Fantasie, D760 is a sonata in all but name. It was written in November 1822 and published the following year. It was dedicated to Emmanuel Edler von Liebenberg de Zsettin, a well-to-do pupil of Mozart’s pupil Hummel. This dedication, coupled with the work’s designation as a “Fantasie” (then a popular form) may explain its unusually early publication the following year. By the early 1820s Schubert had enjoyed some significant successes as a composer. Works had been published and performed, with generally favourable reviews. The self-confidence which this success engendered in the young composer is nowhere more apparent than in this Fantasie, in the heroic key of C major.
The popular name “The Wanderer”, is taken from the 1816 song of that name, a setting of words by Schmidt von Lubeck, the theme of which is varied in the slow movement of the Fantasie which is a massive four-movement structure without breaks. The first movement allegro con fuoco ma non troppo starts with a dactylic rhythmic figure, found so often in the music of Schubert. The dactylic rhythm running through the entire Fantasie is one that seems to have haunted Schubert for many years: among the many appearances elsewhere in his music, it permeates the song Der Tod und das Mädchen, the well-known Entr’acte from the ballet music to Rosamunde and hence the related slow movement of the great A minor String Quartet and the B flat major variations from the second set of Impromptus. It is not unlikely that the origin of Schubert’s obsession is to be traced back to the fatalistic rhythm of the Allegretto second movement from Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony.
The second section, adagio, begins with a quotation from Schubert’s song Der Wanderer, but echoes of the song’s sad sentiments are soon dispelled by the decorative embellishments of the theme, which lead to furious eruptions and tremolando figures. The theme is finally restated in the right hand, while left-hand figurations anticipate the main theme of the following Scherzo. This section, marked Presto, is in Schubert’s most exuberant dance style. There is a trio section and in the final section, Allegro, left hand octaves state the theme again, answered in fugal style by the right hand, before the entries of a third and fourth voice, leading on to a dynamic climax and a brilliant and emphatic C major conclusion.
Notes by Martin Morris
Friday, November 8 at 8:00 pm - 10:15 pm
Location : Neuadd y Dderwen
Bookings are closed for this event.