“There are many humorous things which tend to happen while one is on the road”, asserts Pianist Thomas Pandolfi who opens Impromptu Classical Concerts 44th season on Sunday January 10th at St. Pauls Church at 4:00 pm. Pandolfi continues: “One that springs to mind is coming out on stage to perform the Liszt Piano Concerto No. 1. To my great surprise, the wheels of the piano had not been locked in place. I quickly saw the alarmed look on the faces of the cellists sitting straight in front of me when the monstrous black beast began to roll towards them and away from me. We had to stop. Much to the delight of the audience, the stage hands walked out onstage, locked the wheels, and we all began again with great success!” Pandolfi is philosophical about being upstaged by a rogue piano. “The piano had a very dramatic and brilliant entrance”, he jokes.
The first half of Pandolfi’s program will consist of music by Franz Liszt. “There could be no more dramatic way of opening a recital than with the Dante Sonata of this most innovative composer”, notes Pandolfi. “With the first interval of the tritone, the music transports the listener on a musical journey which will cover the spectrum of emotions, and put the pianist through stratospheric tests of virtuosity…after all, Liszt writes at the top of the score: ‘Beware all ye who enter here!’ “
Mr. Pandolfi continues: “Liebestraum No. 3 is arguably Liszt’s best known composition….and for good reason…rarely is such poetry and passion woven together in such a successful way. The Valse Oubliee No. 1 is a late Liszt work dating from 1881. It foreshadows the Impressionist period, and is a work of delicate and elegant charm.The Paganini Etudes are works demanding the highest degree of virtuosity imaginable…the Etude in E-Flat Major is a study in pearl like scales, alternating interlocked intervals, and octaves. It is based on the 17th Caprice for solo violin of Paganini.”
Widmung (“Dedication”) is a German Lieder song of Robert Schumann’s, which was written as a wedding present for his beloved Clara. Mr. Pandofi enthuses: “Liszt transcribes this impassioned melody with the greatest sense of polish, refinement and faithfulness to the original…an inspired solo for piano.”
The final offering of the first half – The Hungarian Rhapsodies – are interesting works whereby Liszt takes well known Hungarian folk melodies and transcribes them into the most sophisticated show pieces for piano. No. 12 has long been one of the most popular of the set, championed by Artur Rubinstein and Van Cliburn.
After intermission, music with a Latin influence will take center stage. A little known, but incredibly gorgeous sensual piece, by the Mexican composer Manuel Ponce (1882-1948) entitled Intermezzo No. 1 is first up. This will be followed by Allegro di Concierto and The Maiden and the Nightingale by Enrique Granados…..two of the most attractive pieces Granados ever composed for the piano. Malaguena by the Cuban composer, Ernesto Lecuona and Ritual Fire Dance by the Spanish Manuel de Falla will round out the printed portion of the program.
Concert tickets are $20 at the door one hour before the performance or online: Keystix.com or classicalconcertskw.com. Any questions please call 305.745.2283, Season subscription pass (6 concerts) – $100. Subscription passes can be used for all concerts or for multiple guests at one or more concerts. All students free.