Simone Tavoni in Viterbo,city of the Popes – 80 km from Rome.
Florid Mendelssohn Variations op 83 were played with a ravishing jeux perlé that were just streams of gold.Mendelssohn’s enticing melodies were allowed to float on a magic wave of sounds due to Simone’s very sensitive sense of touch.
Two Schubert Impromptus,the first of his late set, revealed Simone’s superb musicianship as Schubert’s irrepressible outpouring of song was given an underlying structure and sense of architectural shape that made one marvel at the maturity of an already mortally sick composer at such an early age .
Simone brought sumptuous orchestral colour and power to the two Brahms Rhapsodies op 79 but it was the heart rending simplicity and ravishing beauty of the op 118 n.2 intermezzo,that was to be the final work for piano of Brahms, that was so aristocratically poignant.
The frenzy and passion in Schumann of the outer movements was calmed by the beauty and subtle shaping of the ‘lied’ that Schumann had chosen to weave into his Sonata op 22
Simone was happy to offer to an enthusiastic public his own improvisation in the style of a Chopin mazurka which just added the final touch to a recital that had been a demonstration of intelligence and sensitive musicianship.
The variations op 83 were written in 1841 and the four hand adaptation was published after his death as op 83a.The theme and variations that Simone plays today have five whereas the four hand adaptation have eight.Mendelssohn made his first public concert appearance at the age of nine and was a prolific composer from an early age. As an adolescent, his works were often performed at home with a private orchestra for the associates of his wealthy parents amongst the intellectual elite of Berlin.Between the ages of 12 and 14, Mendelssohn wrote 13 string symphonies for such concerts, and a number of chamber works.His first work, a piano quartet, was published when he was 13.He suffered from poor health in the final years of his all too short life, probably aggravated by nervous problems and overwork. A final tour of England left him exhausted and ill, and the death of his sister, Fanny, on 14 May 1847, caused him further distress. Less than six months later, on 4 November, aged 38, Mendelssohn died in Leipzig after a series of strokes.His funeral was held at the Paulinerkirche, Leipzig, and he was buried at the Dreifaltigkeitsfriedhof I in Berlin-Kreuzberg. The pallbearers included Moscheles, Schumann and Niels Gade.Mendelssohn had once described death, in a letter to a stranger, as a place “where it is to be hoped there is still music, but no more sorrow or partings.”
The Schubert Impromptus are a series of eight pieces for solo piano composed in 1827. They were published in two sets of four impromptus each: the first two pieces in the first set were published in the composer’s lifetime as Op. 90; the second set was published posthumously as Op. 142 in 1839 (with a dedication added by the publisher to Franz Liszt).As the first and last pieces in this set are in the same key (F minor) the set bears some resemblance to a four-movement sonata.It has been suggested that these Impromptus may be a sonata in disguise, notably by Robert Schumann and Alfred Einstein ,who claim that Schubert called them Impromptus and allowed them to be individually published to enhance their sales potential.It is also believed that the set was originally intended to be a continuation of the previous set, as Schubert originally numbered them as Nos. 5–8.
The Rhapsodies, Op. 79 were written in 1879 during Brahms’ summer stay in Portschach,when he had reached the maturity of his career. They were inscribed to his friend, the musician and composer Elisabeth von Herzogenberg .At the suggestion of the dedicatee, Brahms reluctantly renamed the sophisticated compositions from “Klavierstücke” (piano pieces) to “rhapsodies”
- No. 1 in B minor. Agitato is the more extensive piece, with outer sections in sonata form enclosing a lyrical, nocturne-like central section in B major and with a coda ending in that key.
- No. 2 in G minor. Molto passionato, ma non troppo allegro is a more compact piece in a more conventional sonata form.
In each piece, the main key is not definitely established until fairly late in the exposition.
The Six Pieces for Piano, Op. 118, were completed in 1893 and dedicated to Clara Schumann ,the collection is the penultimate composition published during Brahms’ lifetime. It is also his penultimate work composed for piano solo. Consistent with Brahms’s other late keyboard works, Op. 118 is more introspective than his earlier piano pieces, which tend to be more virtuosic in character. Simone played the second piece the Intermezzo in A major. Andante teneramente
Clara Schumann claimed to be “endlessly looking forward to the second sonata”, but nevertheless Robert revised it several times. At Clara Schumann’s request, the original finale, marked Presto passionato was replaced with a less difficult movement in 1838.Clara considered it “not too incomprehensible,” though she admitted that she would “play it if necessary, but the masses, the public, and even the connoisseurs for whom one is really writing, don’t understand it.”The Andantino of the sonata is based on Schumann’s early song “Im Herbste”; It is dedicated to Schumann’s friend the pianist Henriette Voigt and was published in September 1839.
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