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Programme notes (by Julian Jacobson) and pianist biographies
Session 3 : Sunday October 4th 2 pm - 6 pm.
2.00 pm Iyad Sughayer Sonata in D minor Op 31 no 2 'Tempest'
Largo. Allegro — Adagio — Allegretto
The nickname is not Beethoven's though it has become universally accepted: the only justification for it is that Beethoven is said to have muttered, when someone asked him the meaning of the sonata, ‘Read Shakespeare's Tempest !’ Interestingly the sonata, along with the other two sonatas of Op.31, has no dedication: perhaps, in Beethoven's conscious wish to forge a new, tighter and more intensely expressive style, the sonatas felt too personal and independent-minded for him to want to dedicate them to a patron. The first movement picks up on the innovation of the Pathétique by opening with a slow introduction which recurs at key points in the movement. On subsequent appearances it is accompanied by a ghostly recitative for which Beethoven instructs the player to keep the sustaining pedal depressed - a cause of much argument over the years. The bulk of the movement is a fast, breathless and intense Allegro. The Adagio movement, in the submediant key of B flat major (practically another Beethoven innovation) is broad, noble and dignified. The sonata form Allegretto finale has a perpetual motion theme that was apparently suggested to Beethoven by the galloping of a horse outside his window: like so much in his middle period masterpieces, it has become iconic and it is difficult to imagine the musical landscape without it.
Chosen as ‘One to Watch' by International Piano Magazine, pianist Iyad Sughayer's debut album, the Khachaturian Piano Works, on BIS Records received critical acclaim when it was released in November 2019. The album was described by Gramophone as ‘exhilarating and delivered with perfect clarity' and ‘He captures the music's essence with such a close sense of recreative identity that it feels on occasion as though he could be composing it as he goes along. An outstanding debut' by BBC Music Magazine. Sughayer has appeared as a soloist with many leading orchestras including the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, the European Union Chamber Orchestra and the Manchester Camerata. He has performed on the stages of Manchester's Bridgewater Hall and the Stoller Hall, the Laeiszhalle, Hamburg; Steinway Hall, New York; Castleton Festival, Virginia; Kings Place and Wigmore Hall in London. Born in Amman in 1993, Iyad received his early musical education in Jordan and went on to study at Chetham's School of Music. He then graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music as a scholar and from the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance where he was awarded the College's prestigious Gold Medal. In 2018, he returned to the RNCM to complete the International Artist Diploma. In 2019, Iyad was selected as a City Music Foundation Artist.
2.30 pm Sasha Grynyuk Sonata in E flat major Op 31 no 3
Allegro — Scherzo: Allegro vivace — Menuetto: Moderato e grazioso — Presto con fuoco
One of a triumphant trilogy of sonatas from the period immediately after Beethoven had come through the despair of realising he was going deaf and had penned his partly suicidal, partly defiant ‘Heiligenstadt Testament’, the final sonata of the group is a radiant comic masterpiece. All four movements are in the major key and there is no slow movement: the second is a pattering scherzo in duple time (a Beethoven innovation) using a staccato touch throughout, and the third is a gracious Minuet with a Trio that fascinated Saint-Saens enough to write a clever set of variations for two pianos on it. The irresistibly energetic 6/8 finale has earned the sonata the nickname of ‘The Hunt’. The first movement opens with an oblique approach to the main key of E flat: starting with a pleading motif on a chord of the subdominant (A flat) with an added 6 th , Beethoven (who always wrote complete sonatas, never a disparate series of movements) is preparing us for his second movement which is in fact in A flat. There are ritardandos, pauses and restarts as Beethoven delights in the elements of surprise - Haydn being the primary influence here (the movement substantially recalling the first movement of Haydn’s Sonata No.49 in the same key), rather than the smoother, more lyrical Mozart. The second subject contains a typical Beethoven joke, a group of 12 notes to be played in a single beat which is in fact impossible in the strict tempo that one is normally supposed to keep to in
classical sonata playing. But it all comes out in the wash!
Winner of over ten international competitions, prizes and awards, Sasha was chosen as a 'Rising Star' for BBC Music Magazine and International Piano Magazine . His successes also include First Prizes in the Grieg International Piano Competition and the BNDES International Piano Competition, in addition to winning the Guildhall School of Music's most prestigious award – the Gold Medal - previously won by such artists as Jacqueline Du Pré and Bryn Terfel.Sasha has performed in many major venues including Wigmore Hall, Barbican Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Bridgewater Hall (Manchester), Wiener Konzerthaus, Weil Recital Hall (Carnegie Hall, New York), Teatro Real (Rio de Janeiro) and Salle Cortot (Paris). He has performed with such orchestras as the Royal Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic and Orchestra Sinfonica Brasiliera. His recording of music by Glenn Gould and Friedrich Gulda for Piano Classics was chosen as the record of the month for the German magazine Piano News and shortlisted for the New York Classical Radio Award. Among Sa sha's ongoing projects are performances of Shostakovich's original piano score for the 1929 silent film The New Babylon , which he premièred at LSO St. Luke's and later performed at Leif Ove Andsnes' Rosendal Festival, Norway. Born in Ukraine, Sasha studied at the Guildhall School in London. Sasha is a Keyboard Trust artist and currently benefits from the artistic guidance of its founder Noretta Conci-Leech.
3.00 pm Andrew Bottrill Sonata in G minor Op 49 no 1
Andante — Rondo: Allegro
Beethoven’s two charming sonatas Op.49, each formally titled‘ Sonate facile, pour le pianoforte’ , were written between 1795 and 1798, thus begun after the Op.2 sonatas: their later opus number reflects the publication date of 1805. Each sonata has only two movements. They may have been intended as teaching pieces, and indeed the composer had not wanted them publ ished: it was his brother Kaspar who offered them for publication against Beethoven’s will. Nevertheless they are fully characteristic, No.1 in particular being a beautiful piece, deeply affecting in its first movement, and No.2 being the ideal introduction to Beethoven for countless pianists. The first sonata is in G minor, a key hardly used by Beethoven as a main key (perhaps because of its inevitable association with Mozart). In a straightforward sonata form and frequently using just two-part writing, it is nevertheless contrapuntally ‘alive’ with some attractive left hand imitation. The
recapitulation is expressively extended and there is a beautiful coda. The cheerful Rondo finale, now in G major, displays Beethoven’s boisterous good humour and is by no means easy to play. Though called a rondo, it is rather, perhaps, a loosely constructed sonata structure.
Andrew Bottrill gives regular concerts in a four-hand partnership with Zrinka Bottrill in the UK and Croatia. This is an area of piano repertoire to which he has in recent years contributed numerous adaptations and arrangements, including of substantial works by Janácek, Dvor?ák, Rogowski and Pejacevic. This summer he digitalised and shared online a substantial collection of Edith Vogel recordings from broadcasts, and published an article about the legacy of her teaching and performing. Having studied with Edith Vogel and James Gibb at GSMD, he emerged with all the major piano prizes, together with the Premier Prix Concert Recital Diploma in 1986. In this early part of his career he also achieved notable success in the Dudley Piano Competition, the Park Lane Group and the Kirckman Concert Society, leading to numerous appearances at for example the Bath International Festival, the Purcell Room, Wigmore Hall, and St John's Smith Square in London, and the Lobkowitz Palace in Prague. He is currently Head of Keyboard at Latymer Upper School, and also has teaching posts in both the junior and senior departments of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, having worked previously at the Royal College of Music and Royal Holloway College.
3.15 pm Veronika Shoot Sonata in G major Op 49 no 2
Allegro ma non troppo — Tempo di Menuetto
The second of the Op 49 sonatas, now completely in G major, opens with a genial movement in largely two-part writing, each hand sometimes expanded to thirds for greater euphony. The simple sonata form allows nevertheless for modulation to minor keys in the shortdevelopment section so that the movement has a satisfying emotional range. The Tempo di Menuetto second movement - a genuine rondo - is notable for sharing its main theme with the third movement of Beethoven’s (later) Septet. All is pastoral innocence, with a slightly more energetic third theme in the subdominant C major. The sonata has hardly any original dynamic or expression markings, allowing the performer a fair amount of freedom in interpretation.
Born in Moscow, Veronika Shoot moved to the UK at the age of five when her father Vladislav Shoot became the composer-in-residence at Dartington Hall. At 7 years old she performed her first recital at the Dartington International Summer School music festival. Veronika studied with full scholarships at Yehudi Menuhin and Purcell Schools of Music the Royal Academy of Music and Royal Scottish conservatoire from which she graduated with distinction. She has performed in prestigious venues including London's Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall, St John's Smith Square, Purcell Room, Steinway Hall, BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels, The Rachmaninov Hall in Moscow, Amsterdam Conservatoire, International Mozart Festival in Istanbul, Koblenz Gymnasium and L'Ope´ra Gabriel at the Cha^teau de Versailles. She is a Laureate of International Competitions including the Yamaha International Piano Competition and the Two Moors Festival, and has been awarded with prizes such as the Frederic Jackson Award, the Michal Hambourg and Elise Campbell Prizes. Her album “Journey Through Childhood” was released in 2019 with Ulysses Arts, featuring an array of childhood-inspired music, including well-known masterpieces by Debussy and Schumman, rarely heard musical gems by Lyadov, Korngold and Takemitsu, and the first ever recording of “Children's Album” by Vladislav Shoot.
3.30 pm Luke Jones Sonata in C major Op 53 'Waldstein'
Allegro con brio — Introduzione: Adagio molto — Rondo: Allegretto moderato. Prestissimo
This celebrated Grande Sonate (so titled by Beethoven) has always ranked as one of the great set pieces of the repertoire. The nickname comes from the dedicatee, Count Ferdinand von Waldstein, Beethoven’s pupil and pa tr on: a more meaningful nickname, used in France, is L’Aurore (Dawn), from the magical, quasi-impressionist pianissimo entry of the Rondo finale theme which emerges out of the profound night of its short Introduzione. Beethoven originally planned the sonata in three movements, with a longish and somewhat discursive slow movement. He was persuaded that this was too long for the sonata, publishing it separately as the Andante favori which subsequently became one of his most popular works in his lighter style. Meanwhile he wrote a short, harmonically rich and extremely concentrated Introduzione in its place, leading the listener from F major back to C major. The sonata as Beethoven left it thus has the character of an immense diptych. The first movement has an exhilaration and sweep that carry all before it. After its mysterious introduction, the Rondo finale - which has been described as the greatest rondo ever composed - takes us from the misty mystery of the opening through more vigorous, even angry episodes in the minor and a development section of great breadth, to a final Prestissimo coda with a series of trills that were to become a prominent feature of Beethoven’s late style. The [in]famous octave glissandi near the end are only one example of Beethoven’s pianistic innovations in this ‘Grand Sonata
Luke Jones is a Welsh pianist. He began playing the piano at the age of 5 and made his debut recital at Oriel Wrecsam aged 10. Since then he has performed all over Britain and Europe in venues such as Bridgewater Hall – Manchester, Eaton Square - London, St. David's Hall - Cardiff, St. George's – Bristol, Palau de la musica Catalana – Barcelona, Salle Cortot – Paris et al. He has also performed with orchestras such as BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Manchester Camerata, Orchestra of the Swan and Jove Orquestra Nacional de Catalunya. In addition he has won prizes in competitions around Europe notably 2nd Prize and Mompou Prize at the prestigious Maria Canals International Piano Competition and 1st Prize at the Bromsgrove International Musicians Competition. His teachers have included Andrew Wilde, Murray McLachlan, Carlo Grante and Frank Wibaut. He recently completed a bachelor's degree with First Class Honours at the RNCM and is currently pursuing studies on the Masters' Programme with a full scholarship from the ABRSM under the tutelage of Dina Parakhina.
4.05 pm Ben Schoeman Sonata in F major Op 54
.In tempo d’un menuetto — Allegretto. Più allegro
A curiosity in some ways - a two-movement, short, stand-alone sonata between the two peaks of the Waldstein and Appassionata that has never achieved the celebrity status of its neighbours. Yet it is a fine work, unlike any other sonata and an integral part of Beethoven’s magisterial sonata oeuvre. One of Beethoven’s favourite books was Plutarch’s Parallel Lives , in which the life of a well-known Greek and Roman, such as Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar, are contrasted. I’ve often wondered if this was an influence on Beethoven’s few but powerful two-movement sonatas. In any case the two movements certainly present a massive contrast, yet palpably belong to the same unified composition. The first movement is, unusually, not in sonata form but in a double variation form probably borrowed from Haydn. The opening theme, a courtly minuet, is succeeded by a furious outburst of double octaves (at least a generation too early: double octaves didn’t become a normal feature of piano writing till the advent of Liszt). The minuet returns, sweetly decorated, then a shorter blast of octaves, then a beautiful coda, the deepest and most personal music in the sonata. The second movement is a mystical perpetuum mobile in running semiquavers. It is in binary form with each half repeated, though ‘B’ is some eight times the length of ‘A’ (Beethoven would have probably failed a composition exam but we may rest assured that he knew what he was doing). There are some visionary harmonies in the second part. Finally an explosive, faster coda rounds off this highly satisfying sonata.
Ben Schoeman is a Steinway Artist and a senior lecturer in piano and musicology at the University of Pretoria. He won the first prize in the 11th UNISA International Piano Competition, the piano prize and gold medal in the Royal Over-Seas League Music Competition, the contemporary music prize at the Cleveland International Piano Competition, and the Rupert Prize from the South African Academy for Science and Art. He has performed at the Wigmore, Barbican, LSO St Luke's, Cadogan and Queen Elizabeth Halls in London, Carnegie Hall in New York, the Konzerthaus in Berlin, the Gulbenkian Auditorium in Lisbon, Teatro Vittoria in Turin, the Durban and Cape Town City Halls and the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest. He has appeared at many festivals such as City of London, Edinburgh Fringe, Enescu, Grahamstown and Ottawa. In 2016, he obtained a doctorate from City, University of London and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Schoeman's solo album, featuring works of Franz Liszt, is available under the TwoPianists label. His performance in London with pianist Tessa Uys of Beethoven's 9 th Symphony, arranged for piano duet by Xaver Scharwenka, was recorded for broadcast on South African national television
4.25 pm Martin Cousin Sonata in F minor Op 57 'Appassionata'
Allegro assai — Andante con moto — Allegro ma non troppo. Presto
This famous sonata, written at the height of his powers, was thought by Beethoven to be his greatest, at least till the Hammerklavier . The ‘King Lear’ of sonatas, its mood is almost unremittingly dark and tragic, sometimes violent, yet also sublime and full of pathos. It is Beethoven's only major work that not only starts in a minor key but also finishes in it, without any hint of comfort and without the typical Beethoven outcome of triumph over adversity. The mood of foreboding is established right away with an obscure unison theme in pianissimo, the hands two octaves apart - an iconic moment in the piano repertoire. Iconic also are the crashing fortissimo chords that break out without warning, which may or may not represent the increasingly deaf composer frantically trying to hear himself but are anyway symbolic. The second subject is momentarily consoling though it cannot break away from the underlying fatalistic rhythm: its second part is a veritable torrent of turbulent semiquavers. There are two huge climaxes later on, one at the end of the development and an even more violent one leading into the faster coda which finally exhausts itself.
Martin Cousin is now regarded as one of the most exceptional pianists of his generation, having been awarded 1st prize at the 2005 Ettore Pozzoli International Piano Competition and Gold Medal at the 2003 Royal Over-Seas League Music Competition. He has appeared regularly in the major British musical venues and performed internationally since graduating from the Royal College of Music, making his London solo debut at the Purcell Room in 1998. Numerous solo recitals followed, notably at the Wigmore Hall in 2001,2005 and 2011. He has performed as soloist with the London Philharmonic, Halle, Royal Philharmonic, Philharmonia and BBC Concert Orchestras. 2006 saw the release of his debut CD of Rachmaninov's Sonata No 1 and Morceaux de Salon with SOMM Recordings, which was selected as Classical CD of the week by the Daily Telegraph. His disc of Rachmaninov's Études-Tableaux was released in 2014 and was proclaimed 'a landmark recording' by The Observer with a 5-star review. Fanfare Magazine proclaimed, 'Based on the present disc and on the towering performance of the First Sonata on his debut CD, I am prepared to state that Cousin is among the most distinguished Rachmaninoff pianists of our generation.'Martin's hands are also featured on the big screen in the Oscar-winning film "Shine",for the scenes involving Rachmaninov's 3rd Concerto.
5.00 pm Dinara Klinton Sonata in F sharp major Op 78
Adagio cantabile. Allegro ma non troppo — Allegro vivace
This two-movement sonata runs for barely ten minutes yet punches a weight beyond its modest dimensions. Beethoven was particularly proud of it: irritated by the popularity of the Moonlight Sonata (not yet so called), he wrote ‘surely I have written much better things: the F sharp major Sonata for instance - now there is really something’. The first movement opens with a short, poignant slow introduction - maybe Beethoven's apology to his piano for theunprecedented violence unleashed on it at the end of his previous sonata, the Appassionata . The most unusual key of F sharp major gives the music a special radiance. Contrasts are muted and there are passages of quietly running semiquavers, the last of which brings the movement to an emphatic forte close. The comic finale opens on a sharp dissonance, the home key being reached only in the 12 th bar. More passages of running semiquavers, now articulated in pairs (hard to achieve in a fast tempo), lead ultimately to a loud, crashing chord followed by a sort of dissolve (again with the paired semiquavers) and the return of the main theme in the subdominant. Beethoven seems to be enjoying his own playful virtuosity hugely. An even more extended ‘dissolve’ leads to the final statement of the main theme, now in the tonic but with changes of register. A smoother passage leads to some mysterious pauses and a concluding burst of semiquavers, the opening dissonance finally resolved.
Dinara Klinton is an active concert performer and prize-winner of over 15 international competitions. Dinara has performed at many major concert venues including the Royal Festival Hall and Wigmore Hall, and worked with such orchestras as The Philharmonia Orchestra and St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra. She has also appeared on BBC2 and on Radio 3. As a recording artist, Dinara has received widespread critical acclaim for her interpretations. Among many dazzling reviews, her album Liszt: Études d'exécution transcendante, S. 139, released by the German label GENUIN classics, was selected by BBC Music Magazine as Recording of the Month. Dinara's debut album Music of Chopin and Liszt was made at the age of 16 with an American label DELOS, and the most recent CD is a part of renowned recording series Chopin. Complete Works on contemporary instruments, released by The Fryderyk Chopin Institute. Dinara graduated from the Moscow State Conservatory, has a Master of Performance degree with distinction from the Royal College of Music where she studied under Dina Parakhina and where she now holds a position of Assistant Professor of Piano
5.20 pm Phillip Leslie Sonata in G major Op 79
Presto alla tedesca — Andante — Vivace
This short sonata, called Sonatina in some sources reflecting its brevity and modest proportions, should by no means be relegated to the status of a minor composition: it is fully characteristic of Beethoven in a certain mood sometimes referred to as ‘unbuttoned’. Particularly the first movement is fully worked out with a considerable degree of subtlety. This is marked Presto alla tedesca , already a comic surprise as a tedesca (German dance) is normally in a rustic, moderate tempo: the main theme of this one reappears, in the same key but with the notes in a different order, as the theme of the Alla tedesca movement of the Op 131 String Quartet, where it is at the ‘correct’ tempo.
The second subject appears not in the dominant but in A major, the dominant of the dominant, only working its way round to the dominant towards the end. The development introduces - or picks up from a hint at the end of the exposition - a delightful new idea, a repeated falling third (with a tricky crossed hands keyboard layout) which has earned the sonata the nickname of ‘The Cuckoo’ . Each half is repeated; the coda, when it arrives, is one of Beethoven’s most engagingly comic passages. The other movements are more modest. The Andante movement, in the tonic minor and with an unusual 9/8 timesignature, is a simple, sad German song with a consoling
middle section in E flat major. The Vivace finale is all high spirits again, Beethoven enjoying himself (and creating problems for the young players to whom the sonata is often given) with some cross rhythms between the hands includingfour against three. It hasn’t often been noticed that the opening theme anticipates almost literally the theme of the last movement of the E major Sonata Op.109: Beethoven must
have sensed the latent possibilities in his theme which here is cheerfully innocent.
British Pianist, Phillip Leslie started his piano tuition at age seven in Cornwall. He graduated with first class honours and the Silver Medal Keyboard Award from Trinity Laban. Previously, he has studied with Martino Tirimo, Margaret Fingerhut & Philip Fowke. Currently, he is an Arthur Haynes and Helen Roll Scholar and studies with Peter Tuite. This year he received the Weingarten Prize for Piano from Trinity. Phillip was a finalist in the John Longmire Piano Competition, Elisabeth Schumann Lieder Competition and a semi-finalist in the Jacques Samuel's Intercollegiate Piano Competition. He won the Angela Rinsler award at the national finals of the EPTA Piano Competition. Phillip has had masterclasses with Leon McCawley, Boris Petruchansky & Pascal Roge. He has performed in venues such as St Martin in the Fields, Steinway Hall, Pamoja Hall, St James's Piccadilly & Blackheath Halls. Phillip was interviewed on BBC Radio in 2016 and toured the Isle of Wight, twice, with BYOSE. Future engagements include a recital at the Reid Concert Hall in Edinburgh which will celebrate the music of Kenneth Leighton.
5.35 pm Ilya Kondratiev Sonata in E flat major Op 81a 'Les Adieux'
Das Lebewohl: Adagio. Allegro —Abwesenheit: Andante espressivo (In gehender Bewegung, doch mit viel Ausdruck — Das Wiedersehen: Vivacissimamente (Im lebhaftesten Zeitmaße)
The title is Beethoven's own (though he preferred the German version Das Lebewohl ), making it his only programme sonata as such. The subject is the departure on an extended trip and anticipated return of one of Beethoven's most importantpatrons, the Archduke Rudolph, dedicatee of several of his grandest works. After a substantial, pregnant slow introduction - the sonata's weightiest and most intense music - the main Allegro part of the first movement is brisk and energetic, with much use made of the three-note falling Lebewohl motif. Comparatively short, the movement makes up for this with an extended coda as if the friends are trying to put off the moment when they have to part. The second movement, L'absence or‘ Abwesenheit’ , opens in C minor on a sad, questioning motif. This leads to alternating angry outbursts alternating with moreconsoling, major key passages. An interrupted cadence and a short, mysterious passage with a feeling of great anticipation leads straight into the Vivacissimamente (extremely lively) finale, Le retour or ‘Das Wiedersehen’ , expressing the joy of reunion. A heartfelt slower passage and a final burst of merry broken octaves round off this much-loved sonata.
Pianist Ilya Kondratiev is the prize winner of such renowned competitions as the International F. Chopin Piano Competition (Hannover 2011), International F. Liszt Piano Competition (Budapest 2011), International F. Liszt Piano Competition (Weimar 2011), the Fifth Tbilisi International Piano Competition (Tbilisi 2013) and Brant International Piano Competition (Birmingham 2015). Ilya performs extensively as a soloist and as a chamber music player. In 2011 Ilya was invited to take part in the Franz Liszt Piano Academy in Schillingfurst (Germany) with E. Leonskaya and in the Eppan Piano Academy (Italy) with P. Gililov. He frequently takes part in master classes with Rolf-Dieter Arens, Dina Yoffe, Konstantin Shcherbakov, Willem Brons, Dmitry Bashkirov, Jerome Rose, Leslie Howard, Lang Lang, and ArieVardi. Ilya has graduated from the Royal College of Music London (Master of Performance, Artist Diploma) and Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatoire where he was studying with professors Vanessa Latarche, Sofia Gulyak and Zinaida Ignatieva