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recital piano

DMITRY SHISHKIN

Scarlatti, Rameau, Bach, Debussy, Chopin

Critically acclaimed former Tchaikovsky Competition and Concours de Genève prizewinner Dmitri Shishkin uses baroque-inspired music by Debussy as the bridge between baroque works looking ahead to the Romantic era, and two of that era’s greatest masterpieces by Chopin.

Programme

DOMENICO SCARLATTI (1685-1757)
Keyboard Sonata in D minor K. 1
Keyboard Sonata in F minor K. 466
Keyboard Sonata in E major K. 380
Keyboard Sonata in F-sharp major K. 319

JEAN-PHILIPPE RAMEAU (1683-1764)
Les Trois Mains
Le Rappel des Oiseaux

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750)
Chaconne from Partita for Violin solo No. 2 in D minor BWV 1004 (arr. F. Busoni)

Interval

CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862-1918)
Suite bergamasque
L’Isle joyeuse

FRÉDÉRIC CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Scherzo No. 2 in B-flat minor Op. 31
Polonaise in A-flat major Op. 53 “Heroic”

Scarlatti wrote his 555 single-movement sonatas or ‘exercises,’ published onwards from 1738, as music master at the Portuguese and Spanish courts. Their virtuosic sound world brims with the colours of those surroundings, not least K 380 with its imitation brass fanfares. Rameau equally painted extra-musical scenes with his own suites of exercises, such as finger-strengthening Le rappel des oiseaux (1724) evoking birdcall. Les Trois Mains (1726) meanwhile is an exercise in hand-crossing. Sitting equally within a 1720s suite, Bach’s D minor chaconne – 64 variations on a 4-bar theme – is one of the violin repertoire’s crowning achievements of technical challenge and artistry; Busoni’s 1916 piano transcription is no less demanding. Debussy’s four-movement Suite Bergamasque of 1905 and L’Isle joyeuse of the previous year both draw on the baroque era, the former structurally, and both evocatively with their antique-y harmonic language and dancing, nostalgic quality – which with L’isle joyeuse becomes virtuosically big-boned as its final climax. Boldness and high romance are equally the watch words for Chopin’s virtuosic Scherzo No. 2 in B flat minor (actually mostly in its relative major, D flat) and ‘Heroic’ Polonaise.