“There hasn’t been a foreign pianist who has caused such a stir since Glenn Gould’s arrival in Moscow in the midst of the Cold War, or Van Cliburn’s victory at the Tchaikovsky Competition.”—Olivier Bellamy (The Huffington Post). Lucas Debargue finished fourth at the 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition and walked away with the prestigious Moscow Music Critics Association Prize, which praised him as the “pianist whose incredible gift, artistic vision, and creative freedom have impressed the critics as well as the audience.” His newfound fame quickly propelled him onto the world’s most prestigious stages, with concert engagements following one after another.
Debargue’s 2017 Verbier recital opens with Schubert’s Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp Minor, followed by Liszt’s Piano Sonata in B Minor. The only work of this genre that Liszt ever wrote, the sonata’s dedication thanks the composer’s great friend Robert Schumann for his Fantasy in C Major. Unfortunately for Liszt, neither Robert Schumann nor Clara Schumann ever showed much appreciation for the sonata. Only Wagner seemed to recognize its genius, a genius that Kenneth Hamilton summarizes in saying, “the Sonata would still be enough to rank him as one of the greatest Romantic composers.”