Announcing the new, new date for our first concert in our “Give me my song” series, “Songs and sonnets of travellers: Chopin, Viardot, Liszt” to be Thursday 7th July 2022, with the original team of 3 song-inspired pianists who will launch this series that goes in search for what is personal to a composer’s heart – his or her “song” – or at least his or her cosmopolitan mind and soul, while also celebrating the friendship and collaboration between these 3 virtuosi-composers.
We are excited to have with us artists that include Warren Lee, Hong Kong’s very own piano prodigy, who will be performing a major piece about a young literary hero’s search to the questions “what do I wish?” and “what am I?“, from Book 1 of Liszt’s Années de pèlerinage (Years of Pilgrimage), Vallée d’Obermann, as well as Chopin’s mesmerising Barcarolle, Op.60 in F sharp major, the composer’s imaginative journey into moonlight on Venetian waters, Yoonie Han a Korean-American pianist “well worth getting to know” and known for her “flowing tone …[and] heavenly singing melodies”, who can be expected to spin some poetic magic playing the Liszt transcriptions of Chopin songs as well as the aforementioned Etudes Op.10, while our very own Sylvia Chan will sing some French and German songs as well as probe the depths of Chopin’s Ballade #4, one of the most exalted, intense and sublimely powerful of all Chopin’s compositions.
With guest appearances from man-of-letters-cum-storyteller Daniel Chua and our cellist friend Richard Bamping, we hope to create the atmosphere of a 21st-century music salon at City Hall theatre in Central, with the programme also including probably the Asian first performance of Viardot’s songs including Die Sterne (“the stars”) and Fleur desséchée (the withered flower), a rare performance of the songs of Liszt including Oh! quand je dors (“Ah while I sleep”), as well as Saint-Saëns’s Mon cœur s’ouvre à ta voix (from Samson et Dalila, an opera dedicated to Viardot) and Fauré’s Après un rêve, a song that was inspired by Viardot and the influence of Italian poetry.
Part I: “The nightsong, the stars and me” (songs, chamber)
- Liszt, Der du von dem Himmel bist (”You who come from heaven”) (1842)
- Viardot, Die Sterne (“The stars”) (1864)
Part II: “Journeying: dreams, beauty” (piano, songs)
- Liszt, Vallée d’Obermann (1842) from Book 1 “Suisse” of Années de pèlerinage
- Liszt, Oh ! quand je dors (”Ah, while I sleep”) (1842 / 1849)
Part III: “Inspiration from new lands” (songs, piano)
- Viardot, Fleur desséchée (”The withered flower”) (1866)
- Saint- Saëns, Mon coeur s’ouvre à ta voix (”Softly awakes my heart”) – from Samson et Dalila (1876)
- Chopin, Barcarolle, Op.60 in F sharp major (1845)
Part IV: “Longing, remembrance, reflections” (songs, piano)
- Chopin/Liszt, Six Polish songs, no. 2 & 3 (1860)
- Liszt, Ave Maria ”bells of Rome”, S.182 (1862)
Part V: “Friendships” (piano, songs, chamber, reading)
- Chopin, Largo – 3rd movt from Cello Sonata (1846) (TBC)
[a short introduction to the connections, friendship and collaborations between Chopin, Viardot and Liszt]
- Fauré, Après un rêve (”Deep in a dream”) (1878)
- Chopin, Etudes, Op.10, no. 3 & 11 (1833)
Part VI: “Give me my song” (piano)
- Chopin, Ballade no 4, Op.52 in F minor (1842)
For more background on the pieces included in the concert’s programme, please see the following 4 notes:
A pre-concert note #2: Liszt the song-writer, sonnet-lover, and consummate traveller
A pre-concert note #1: Songs, sonnets, and Chopin’s two masterpieces for the piano
Learning new songs, discovering great poetry
Turning notes into music … and back: Viardot, Chopin, Liszt
This is the post-concert note.