An evening of Bach, Mozart, Schumann and Stankovski

by guest contributor Julie Berridge

On March 10, Till Fellner plays for us the music of Bach, Mozart, Schumann and Alexander Stankovski.

The evening opens with Mozart’s Rondo No. 3 in A minor, K 511. The Rondo is a single movement with repeating varied themes.

Fellner then moves to Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier. This is how Bach introduced the work.

“… The Well-Tempered Clavier, or Preludes and Fugues through all the tones and semitones both as regards the tertia major or Ut Re Mi and as concerns the tertia minor or Re Mi Fa. For the Use and Profit of the Musical Youth Desirous of Learning as well as for the Pastime of those Already Skilled in this Study”.

WTC as it is sometimes referred to, has become much more than a learning tool or a pastime. It is now considered the foundation on which all Western classical music after Bach has been built. It’s a collection of preludes and fugues written in all 24 major and minor keys for a solo keyboard. The collection is made up of Book 1 written in 1722, and Book 2 written in 1742.

After Bach, Fellner performs another Mozart Sonata. The Sonata in E flat K 282 has three movements. The first is a slow and lyrical Adagio. The second is a lively minuet and the third is an Allegro.

Fellner then performs for us a composition by Viennese composer Alexander Stankovski, born in Munich in 1968 and living in Vienna since 1974. Stankovski is now senior lecturer at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz.

The evening concludes with Kreisleriana, Op. 16 written by Schumann in April 1938 in just four days. The composition was inspired by the character of Johannes Kreisleriana an orchestra conductor who appears in three of E.T.A Hoffman’s books. The character is eccentric, wild, mercurial and often colourful. Kreisleriana consists of eight short movements. Together they are the musical expression of myriad moods. Some passionately dramatic and some simple and serene. Some playful, and some solemn and tragic. In the first movement we are introduced to the animated and somewhat manic side of the character. In contrast, the longer second movement reveals the romantic and tender side of the fictional conductor. The third and fifth movements evoke feelings of agitation followed by the slow fourth and sixth movements. In the seventh movement, the conversation between agitation and peacefulness continues. The final movement is for the most part, playful.
In an April 1938 letter to his wife Clara, here is what Schubert said about Kreisleriana,

“But, Clara, I’m overflowing with music and beautiful melodies now—imagine, since my last letter I’ve finished another whole notebook of new pieces. I intend to call it Kreisleriana. You and one of your ideas play the main role in it, and I want to dedicate it to you—yes, to you and nobody else—and then you will smile so sweetly when you discover yourself in it—my music now seems to be so simply and wonderfully intricate in spite of all the simplicity, all the complications, so eloquent and from the heart; that’s the way it affects everyone for whom I play it, which I enjoy doing quite frequently”.

Join us on March 10, 2015 for this wonderful evening! http://www.music-toronto.com

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