Chopin Etudes and “Musical Gardening”
The Musical Equivalent of Time Lapse Photography
St. Mary’s City- January 30 – St. Mary’s College of Maryland Musician-in-Residence Brian Ganz will present his only full length recital of the semester on Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 8 p.m. in the Auerbach Auditorium of St. Mary’s Hall on the College campus. The program will feature works of the youthful Frédéric Chopin, including his complete set of 12 Etudes, Op. 10, which set the standard for demanding technical studies but are also works of great beauty and originality. Also included in the program will be nocturnes, several youthful polonaises and mazurkas, and a rarely heard but elegant set of variations Chopin composed on the German air “Der Schweizerbub.” This will be a ticketed event. St. Mary’s College of Maryland students will be admitted free of charge; seniors, college faculty and staff, as well as St. Mary’s Arts Alliance members, will be charged a $10 admission fee; general admission will be $15. For more information call (240) 895-4498 or visit https://dev.smcm.edu/events/organizer/music-department/.
“The Etudes have always been among my favorite works of Chopin, and were even featured in a memorable dream I had as a child,” pianist Ganz said recently. “They not only played a large role in my falling in love with Chopin’s music, they also made me fall in love with the piano- with the way it can sing sweetly and sparkle brilliantly, express affection and joy and fury and everything in between.” Ganz will also engage the audience in what he calls “Musical Gardening” at the February 8 recital, in which he shows how works Chopin composed as early as 11 years old “contain the seeds of his genius, and more mature works in the same genre demonstrate the full flowering of that genius. I think of this as the musical equivalent of time lapse photography.”
The performance at St. Mary’s College will preview a recital Ganz will play on Feb. 18 at the Strathmore Music Center in North Bethesda, the 7th in his decade long journey through the complete works of Chopin, a project he has undertaken in partnership with the National Philharmonic. He began his “Extreme Chopin” quest at Strathmore five years ago in a sold out recital that launched the ambitious endeavor to perform the composer’s approximately 250 works. Information and tickets for that concert are at www.nationalphilharmonic.org.
Ganz has appeared as soloist with such orchestras as the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the National Philharmonic, the Baltimore and the National Symphonies, the City of London Sinfonia, and L’Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo. He has performed in many of the world’s major concert halls and has played under the baton of such conductors as Leonard Slatkin, Mstislav Rostropovich, Pinchas Zukerman, Jerzy Semkow and Yoel Levi. A critic for La Libre Belgique wrote of Ganz’s work: “We don’t have the words to speak of this fabulous musician who lives music with a generous urgency and brings his public into a state of intense joy.”
St. Mary’s College of Maryland, designated the Maryland state honors college in 1992, is ranked one of the best public liberal arts schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Approximately 1,700 students attend the college, nestled on the St. Mary’s River in Southern Maryland.
Photo Cut Line: On Wednesday, Feb. 8 Classical pianist Brian Ganz will offer his only full length recital this semester at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. The focus will be on Chopin’s Etudes.
Photo Credit: Jay Mallin