Happy Birthday, Ludwig!

The 5 sonatas for cello and piano by Ludwig van Beethoven

2020 marks the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth, and the performance of his 5 sonatas for cello and piano are a unique way to celebrate such anniversary.

The proposal of performing all of them in two concerts offers the audience the opportunity to hear works that represent all Beethoven's three stylistic periods, with the two sonatas op. 5 featuring his early style, the sonata op. 69 belonging to the middle period, and the two sonatas op. 102 dating from the late period. Each sonata displays distinctive characteristics that make it one of a kind, with a full range of emotions that engages throughout.

The performance of the cycle may follow the chronological order of the sonatas or have a different succession that includes different styles in the same concert. The two concerts can be scheduled "back to back" (in one weekend with concerts in two consecutive days) or as two separate concerts of a musical season.

Piano Music by Ferruccio Busoni

One composer in many styles

Busoni is undoubtedly regarded as one of the most virtuosic pianists ever, but his fame as a composer, even when writing for his instrument, has never equaled his success as a performer.

Of the many piano compositions Busoni wrote, his transcriptions of Bach's works are the most well known and almost the only pieces performed. A deeper look at his output reveals other noteworthy compositions, featuring a captivating harmonic language, a complete mastery of the keyboard, and inspirations from several composers.

Aiming to share the beauty of Busoni's piano music with the audience, I am crafting a recital program that includes:

- Six Etudes op. 16 (inspired by Brahms)

- Sonatina no. 5 "in Signo Joannis Sebastiani Magni"

- Sonatina no. 6 super Carmen (inspired by Bizet)

- Bach's Chaconne transcription

The different genres and styles of the pieces offer an attractive and varied program. A selection from it may also be presented as a lecture-recital or as a half recital in combination with music by other composers.

© 2020 by Fabio Menchetti