Hall: Concert Hall
Price: 90-180 zł
Sonata in B Minor by Ferenz Liszt – whom Stefan Kisielewski referred to as a “hidden director devising tomorrow’s day in music” – is regarded by many as his finest work. The piece holds one of the top places in the pantheon of great works for piano. And yet this had not always been the case. Back in the 19th century, the Sonata had provoked extreme reactions – from Richard Wagner’s awe on the one hand to suspicion, jealousy or even total disapproval in the case of Clara Schuman on the other.
Brahms’ oeuvre for the piano is crowned by four opuses: 116 to 119. The twenty miniature masterpieces contain allusions to Schumann and Chopin. At the same time, however, they mark a return to pre-classical music, typical of Brahms’ late style, as is evident in their original harmony and lucid form. These pieces constitute the very pinnacle of Brahms’ piano music, which developed from large to small forms, from frescos to miniatures.
César Franck’s Prélude, Choral et Fugue cycle is one of the greatest achievements in piano music in the second half of the 19th century. The work delights the listener with its improvisational character as well as with its mastery of form. Initially, Franck envisaged a typical two-movement structure – a prelude and a fugue. However, at a later stage he decided to introduce an additional section – a chorale. This quite novel piece, which made use of the latest developments in neo-Romantic harmonics, was inspired by Wagner’s Parsifal and Tristan und Isolde.
More distant echoes of Tristan und Isolde can be heard in Alban Berg’s youthful Sonata whose musical idiom remains quite accessible for the listener. Although the composer abandoned the idea of adding further movements (the one-movement piece lasts a mere 11 minutes), thanks to Arnold Schönberg’s intercession the Sonata was published in 1908.