About the Event
Part of the Sunday Matinee Series, english piano virtuoso Benjamin Grosvenor offers a recital of works by Bach, Liszt and Chopin at Théâtre des Champs‐Elysées.
The young pianist is at ease in every repertoire, and he has an insatiable passion and curiosity about music, reflected in the rich and diverse program of this morning concert.
- Johann Sebastian Bach – Prélude BWV 855a (arr.Siloti)
- Franz Liszt – Piano Sonata in B Minor, S. 178
- Frederic Chopin – Sonate n° 3 op. 58
Johann Sebastian Bach
The name Bach and the word musician had long been synonyms in Germany as the world saw 56 musicians from this kin. But it was Johann Sebastian Bach, a genius composer and virtuoso organ player, who shed lustre on his family name. He was born on th 31st of March 1685 in Eisenach, a small town in Thuringia. At the age of 10 he became an orphan and was brought up by his elder brother Johann Christoph, who was an organist in a neighbouring town. His brother was the one to teach music to the young Johann Sebastian. Later he moved to Luneburg where he attended a church school and mastered the techniques of playing violin, viola, piano and organ by the age of 17. Besides that, Bach was a choir singer and later after his voice broke he became a chanter’s assistant. In 1703 Bach was hired as a court musician in the chapel of Duke Johann Ernst III. He earned such a good reputation there that he was later invited to Arnstadt to be an organist at the New Church, where he wrote his best organ works. In 1723 he moved to Leipzig to be a chantor at St. Thomas Church where he stayed until his death of a stroke in 1750. In the year of his death he had undergone unsuccessful eye surgery which lead him to lose his eyesight. During that strenuous time his second wife Anna Magdalena helped him to write his last musical pieces. Bach’s artistic legacy is vast. He created compositions in all genres of the time: oratorias, cantatas, masses, motets, music for organ, piano and violin.
Frederic Chopin was a Polish composer and pianist of the Romantic area (early 19th century). He wrote primarily piano solos but also piano concerts, chamber pieces and songs set to Polish lyrics. He is well-known as a poetic genius without competition of his generation. In fact, he created the concept of instrumental ballade and his performances were noted for their sensitivity and fine distinction. He spent most of his life in Paris, where he performed for the intimate atmospheres of salons. For most of his life, he suffered poor health. As a result, he died quite young at the age of 39, probably of tuberculosis.
Franz Liszt was a Hungarian composer, pianist and conductor of the 19th century Romantic era. He was well-known for his prodigious virtuosic skill as a pianist all over Europe. In fact, he was one of the most prominent representatives of the New German School (Neudeutsche Schule) as a composer. Over the course of his career he created extensive and diverse bodies of works that influenced contemporaries and anticipated many 20th-century ideas and trends. For instance, his most notable musical contributions were the invention of the symphonic poem, making radical departures in harmony and developing the concept of thematic transformation as part of his experiments in musical form.