Beethoven, Liszt, and Prokofieff

I opened with Beethoven’s “Waldstein” Sonata in C Major (op. 53) and closed with Prokofieff’s highly dynamic Suggestion Diabolique (op. 4/4).  Between these were virtuosic works by Liszt (that year was the centennial of his death) and Chopin.  As an encore, I played Chopin’s Étude in E Major, op. 10/3.

I also included three of my own compositions in the second half of the program.  I started with my Meditation and Impromptu, which were were two of my earliest piano works.  After that, guest oboist Darrell Harris joined me in a performance of my Romance for Oboe and Piano.  (In the program it is identified as “Romance No. 2” because I had previously written another Romance for clarinet and piano.)

I still have a tape of that recital, representing some of the best performances of my career.  The audio quality of the tape is reasonably good, and some of those performances have been converted to videos on my YouTube channel.  Here is the famous Beethoven “Waldstein” sonata (op. 53) with which I opened the program.

Next was Liszt’s beautiful concert étude Un Sospiro.

The first half of the program closed with Liszt’s delightful but notorious difficult étude La Campanella (“the little bell”).

After the intermission, I presented Chopin’s Ballade No. 1 in G Minor.

After the stormy ending of the Ballade, I turned to a contrasting work, my own Meditation.  The video below does not come from that 1986 recital, but from another tape recording I had made the previous year.  The audio in this case is not entirely satisfactory, and I therefore plan to make a new digital recording of the piece on my Bösendorfer within the next year.  Nevertheless, this performance has proven quite popular with listeners.

The Meditation was followed by my Impromptu.

After the Impromptu, oboist Darrell Harris and I performed my Romance for Oboe and Piano.  I have not published that performance, but in recent years oboist Jenny Wheeler and I made the following excellent recording of the same work.

The printed program concluded with Serge Prokofieff’s Suggestion Diabolique, but unfortunately I cannot publicize that performance because the composer’s music is no longer in the public domain.  In its place, here is the encore that followed, Chopin’s Étude in E Major, op. 10/3.

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