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PROGRAMME DETAIL

Piano Matinee David Fray

PROGRAMME

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH • The Well-Tempered Piano, Vol. I, No. 1–4:
Prelude and Fugue in C, BWV 846
Prelude and Fugue in C minor, BWV 847
Prelude and Fugue in C sharp, BWV 848
Prelude and Fugue in C sharp minor, BWV 849

GIOACHINO ROSSINI • Preludio Religioso in F sharp
from Petite Messe solennelle
arranged for piano by Thomas Schenke

GIOACHINO ROSSINI • Prélude Prétentieux
from Péchés de vieillesse, Vol. VIII: Album de château

FRANZ LISZT • La charité
from 2 Transcriptions d’après Rossini S. 553
based on No. 3 from 3 Chœurs religieux by Gioachino Rossini

FRANZ SCHUBERT • Piano Sonata in G, D. 894, "Fantasy" Sonata

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PERFORMERS

David Fray, Piano

ABOUT THE PRODUCTION

Rossini withdrew from the opera stage at the age of 36 after the premiere of his last and also his first grand French opera Guillaume Tell, and from then onwards devoted himself to the art of cookery and fostering his social circles. Nevertheless, he did not want to abandon composing altogether and from 1857 he created over 160 works – piano pieces, songs, choral works and chamber music – which he described as his “sins of old age”. There was hardly anything he could not set to music, bringing pleasure to himself and his friends. Besides “normal” barcaroles and romanzas, waltzes and marches, culinary delights are to be found, such as Quatre hors d’œuvres (radishes, anchovies, gherkins, butter) or Quatre mendiants (food for students) with figs, almonds, nuts and raisins. Musical gymnastic exercises are also included, limping waltzes or even the description of his own funeral for which he combined popular melodies from his own operas with a funeral march. Rossini compiled one part of these witty and amusing pieces in four volumes and described them as “something of everything. A collection of 56 semi-comic piano pieces. Dedicated to fourth class pianists, to whom I have the honour to belong” – even though many of these miniatures require the greatest virtuosity. Another volume is entitled Quelques riens pour Album, which, like Chopin’s Préludes and Bach’s Wohltemperiertes Klavier, contains exactly 24 pieces. Tribute is paid to Bach with a fugue – Allegro brillante – of course in the style of Rossini. 

Detail from the illustration Rossinissimo, © Jens Rassmus

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I take Beethoven twice a week, Haydn four times a week and Mozart daily. You’ll tell me that Beethoven is a colossus who often boxes you around the ears, whereas Mozart is always adorable. This is because he was lucky enough to go to Italy when he was very young at a time when they still sang beautifully there.
Gioachino Rossini