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piano recital


Schubert, Liszt
Swiss pianist Francesco Piemontesi makes his first return to the Verbier Festival since 2017 for a recital of piano masterworks by Schubert and Liszt.

Piano Sonata No. 19 in C minor D. 958

Piano Sonata in B minor S. 178

Schubert’s Piano Sonata No 19 in C minor is one of three he composed just two months before his death aged 31, and in its impassioned emotional range it sounds both like a fevered personal emotional outpouring, and a conscious uptake of the piano sonata mantle left by Beethoven, who had died the previous year; and in fact its opening Allegro contains echoes of Beethoven’s 32 Variations also in C minor. Similarly full of contrasting high passions is Liszt’s monumental Piano Sonata in B minor of 1853. Structured ground-breakingly as a three-movement sonata within a single extended sonata movement, it draws most of its material from three motivic cells heard in the first 17 bars: three dark syncopated Gs followed by a chromatic downwards snake; a short, defiant, forte shout; spikily rapping repeated Ds (described by Liszt as his “hammer-blow” theme).