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NOBUYUKI TSUJII

Beethoven, Liszt, Chopin
Japanese pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii, who has been blind from birth, won the joint Gold Medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2009 and has gone on to earn an international reputation. For his Verbier Festival debut, he displays his incredible virtuosity through Chopin’s Four Ballades for piano, alongside works by Liszt and Beethoven.
Programme

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor Op. 27 No. 2 ‘Moonlight Sonata’

FRANZ LISZT
Consolation No. 3 in D-flat major: Lento placido
Concert Paraphrase on Verdi’s Rigoletto

FRÉDÉRIC CHOPIN
Ballade No. 1 in G minor Op. 23
Ballade No. 2 in F major Op. 38
Ballade No. 3 in A-flat major Op. 47
Ballade No. 4 in F minor Op. 52

It was the softly undulating broken chords of its first movement that won Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 14 its ‘Moonlight’ nickname, as they reminded a critic of moonlight on Lake Lucerne. Evocativeness aside, this movement was also architecturally revolutionary, because it saw Beethoven dispense with the fast-slow-fast sonata standard. Soft broken chords also provide the backdrop to Liszt’s nocturne-esque third Consolation, which may have been a tribute to his contemporary in Paris, Chopin, who had died the year before its 1849 publication. While Chopin ultimately disliked the limelight of the concert stage, Liszt reveled in it. His paraphrase on Verdi’s Rigoletto is one of a number of crowd-pleaser works on popular themes he composed, to demonstrate both his technical prowess and his poeticism. Gently melancholic poetry is then all across Chopin’s four lightly programmatic Ballades, which Chopin claimed were initially inspired by the literary ballades of Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz.