The music of Oswald in the Brazilian Embassy last night .What a discovery when played with such scintillating virtuosity and ‘joie de vivre’ by Tyler Hay and the Mitsu Trio.
200+ 30 has proven once again to be a winning combination with the Brazilian Embassy and the Keyboard Trust anniversary celebrations in perfect harmony.
In this concert, The Mitsu Trio remembered and celebrated Oswald’s legacy, with a selection of his most distinguished pieces, including Il neige, which gave Oswald his spectacular victory in the Composition Contest promoted in 1902 by Le Figaro in Paris, where the Brazilian composer beat more than 600 other competitors.
Henrique Oswald (1852-1931) was recognised as the most accomplished Brazilian composer before Heitor Villa-Lobos. He wrote in almost every genre and was the leading pioneer of chamber music in Brazil.Trained in Europe, being especially influenced by French, German and Italian traditions, he spent several years in Florence, where he taught at the Musical Institute and met Liszt and Brahms. Back in Brazil in the early 1900s, he directed the newly founded National Institute of Music, tutoring and inspiring a generation of pianists and composers, being one of the most influential figures in Brazilian musical life in the first decades of the 20th century.
Elegia (for cello and piano)
Feuilles d’Album Op.20 No. 4 – Désir Ardent (Allegro con fuoco)
Six Morceaux Op.4 No.5 – Barcarolle
Album Op.33 No.3 – Pierrot
Album Op.36 No. 2 – Pierrot se meurt
Polonaise Op.34 No.1
Piano Trio Op.9
The Mitsu Trio was formed in 2020 and, for this concert, comprises British pianist Tyler Hay, Japanese cellist Akito Goto and Russian-born British violinist Aleem Kandour, virtuoso rising talents who met at the Purcell School for Young Musicians and continued their studies in major UK conservatoires. Between them they have performed as chamber musicians and soloists in distinguished venues across the UK including Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and St Martin-in-the-Fields in London.
TYLER HAY has been awarded prizes in many competitions, including First Prizes in the keyboard section of the Royal Overseas League and the Liszt Society Competition and just last week First Prize in the Dudley International Piano Competition.He has released CDs of Liszt’s piano music, John Ogdon’s unpublished works and Kalkbrenner’s Etudes Op.143, available on the Piano Classics label and have all received critical acclaim. As well as having given concerts in Spain, Italy, Germany, Cyprus and South Africa, Tyler continues to perform regularly in the UK as both a soloist and chamber musician.
AKITO GOTO has appeared as a soloist with ensembles such as the London Mozart Players, Windsor and Maidenhead Symphony Orchestra and Orpington Symphony Orchestra. He has given solo and chamber performances in major concert halls around the world including the Hamarikyu Asahi Hall in Tokyo and and Wigmore Hall in London. He has won numerous prizes and awards, including First Prize in the Japan Player’s Contest, and he was also the youngest winner of the Izuminomori Cello Contest. Akito recently received a generous scholarship from the Raphael Sommer Music Scholarship Trust.
ALEEM KANDOUR has performed at venues such as the Royal Albert Hall and Buckingham Palace. As an orchestral musician, Aleem performs regularly with the London Symphony Orchestra, Chineke! Orchestra and the Bath Festival Orchestra. He has been awarded several prizes including First Prize in the Mozart Junior Competition. In 2019, he became a violin tutor at Prince’s Gardens Preparatory School in London. In 2021, Aleem was selected to become one of the Ambassadors for the Benedetti Foundation.
Oswald was born in Rio de Janeiro.His father was a Swiss-German immigrant and his mother from Italy. The family name was changed from “Oschwald” due to concerns of discrimination. In 1854 the Oswald family moved to São Paulo. His mother taught music privately to aristocrats and by age twelve he had his first recital. In São Paulo, he also studied with Gabriel Guiraudon. His “farewell recital” occurred at age 16, after this he went to study in Europe spending several years in Florence.In 1902 he won a piano composition competition sponsored by Le Figaro with a piece Il neige!..(“It’s snowing!”).He then left his family in Europe (they moved to Brazil much later) and from 1903 to 1906 directed the Instituto National de musica in Rio de Janeiro. He also served as Brazilian consul in both The Hague and Genoa.He died in 1931, just several days after his birthday festivities.
Oswald’s best-known compositions today are numerous small pieces for piano (usually arranged by him into small collections). However, he was a prolific composer of chamber music: his list includes a violin sonata, 2 cello sonatas (op 21 and 44),3 piano trios, 2 piano quartets (op 5 and op 26 )a piano quintet op 18,4 string quartets (op 16,17,39,46) and a string octet. For orchestra he wrote a suite, a sinfonietta and a symphony. There are also two concertos by him, one for piano, another for violin. Concerning vocal music, he composed three operas (La Croce d’oro,Il Neo and le Fate ) ,a mass and a requiem. By the time of his death, his major works remained unpublished, a fact that contributed much to the his neglect for half a century.His work fell into disfavour after the “Semana de Arte Moderna” manifesto, but has experienced something of a revival recently. In late 1970s Brazilian musician José Eduardo Martins began his struggle to revive Oswald’s output. In the last 30 years he published some of his compositions and recorded many of his major works along with piano miniaturesAmong his recordings is Oswald’s Piano Concerto in an originally arranged chamber version (piano with string quintet). Another Oswald pioneer is pianist Eduardo Montero,whose thesis was dedicated to the composer.