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We welcome UNC Piano students for an exclusive evening of Beethoven's piano music at UNC Campus Commons on November 12th at 7:30pm!

This event is free for all!

 

PERFORMERS AND RECITAL PROGRAM

 

1. Alejandro Arroyo: Sonata in C major, Op. 2 no. 3, Mvt. 1 and 2 (10min)

2. David Figgs: Sonata in F major Opus. 10 No. 2, Mvt. 1 (5 min)

3. Yudi Zhang: Piano Sonata in F Major, Op.54: I. In tempo di Minuetto; II. Allegretto (12min)

4. Yuan Li: Piano Sonata in A flat Major, Op. 110 (23min)

5. Dielan Wu: Piano Sonata in E minor, Op. 90 (15min)

PROGRAM NOTES

by

Hanguang Wang

Sonata in C major, Op. 2 no. 3, Mvt. 1 and 2

 

Beethoven's three Piano sonatas op. 2, his first works for piano, were written in 1795, during his first years in Vienna, and together with his Piano Trios, op. 1, they helped establish his reputation as one of the most significant composers of his time. These three sonatas are arranged in ascending order of difficulty and virtuosity. Out of all of the sonatas in this opus set, the large-scale Sonata in C Major is the most theatrical. Especially in the first movement, , we hear a homage to a Mozartian opera buffa. In addition, it is often referred to as Beethoven’s first virtuosic piano sonata.

 

Sonata in F major Opus. 10 No. 2, Mvt. 1

 

Sonata in F major Op. 10 No. 2 was written from 1796 to 1798, is sort of a short, bright, humorous interlude between the dark passion and enchanted lyricism of the Sonata Op. 10 No.1 and the mature masterpiece of the sonata, Op. 10 No. 3.  With its distinctive musical humor, we even return to the Opera Buffa style of the last of the first three sonatas, Op. 2 No.3. The first movement presents the short motifs, differing in mood, filled with drastic contrasts, all wonderfully employed for comic effect.

 

Piano Sonata in F Major, Op.54:

I. In tempo di Minuetto;

II. Allegretto

(12min)

 

Sonata No. 22 in F major, Op. 54, was written in 1804, is an unusual two-movement work. Squeezed between two widely known neighbors, the “Waldstein” and the “Appassionata”, the sonata sometimes seems to be overshadowed. Scholar Lewis Lockwood describes this work as “a little masterpiece that belongs in the quiet category of Beethoven’s more subtle works.” The opening movement juxtaposes two strongly opposing ideas: a graceful, minuet-like main theme, and a second subject in the style of a toccata, in powerful double octaves.

 

Piano Sonata in A flat Major, Op. 110

 

Beethoven's piano sonatas grew in complexity and depth as the cycle of thirty-two progressed. In Op. 110, Beethoven’s second-last piano sonata, he covered as much emotional territory, shares plenty of goodwill and warmth. Its three movements pass from human sympathy to rough country humour, then finally from operatic despair to the safe harbor of consolation, resolve and triumph. Its form, especially the finale of Op. 110, is unique in that it opens with an entire operatic scene: a hushed introduction, leading to a touching recitativo, followed by a tragic, lamenting arioso, and finally the fugal finale achieves the highest keyboard art.

 

 

Piano Sonata in E minor, Op. 90

 

Piano Sonata in E minor, Op. 90 was completed in August 1814, when Beethoven had not written anything for the piano for about five years. It seems to have more affinity with the last group of masterpieces composed between 1816 and 1822 than with the earlier works in the cycle, exhibiting some of the tendencies and characteristics of Beethoven's late sonatas. Just as the two movements in Op. 111 contrast minor and major, Op. 90 balances the first movement in minor and the second movement in major. Hans von Bülow, the German pianist and conductor of the Romantic era, remarked that the two movements should be played respectively as though “spoken” and “sung”; not only that, but there was a story behind the sonata that emphasized this differentiation even further.

The sonata was dedicated to the Count Moritz Lichnowsky, a long-time friend of Beethoven and the younger brother of Beethoven’s patron Prince Karl von Lichnowsky, who wanted to marry with a stage actress. However, the difference in social status prevented their marriage for a long time, and after a period of twists and tribulations, Lichnowsky finally married her. Therefore, in the letter to Count, Beethoven wrote that the first movement was “a struggle between the head and the heart”, while the second depicted “a conversation with the beloved.”