San Francisco's Home for Great Concerts since 1970

Clara & Marie Becker – Friday, May 13 at 8 pm

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PROGRAM NOTES AVAILABLE ONLINE HERE

Clara & Marie Becker, piano four-hands

Franz Schubert Variations in A-flat major, D. 813 and Fantasy in F minor, D. 940
Felix Mendelssohn Andante & Allegro brilliant, Op. 92
Antonín Dvořák Three Slavonic Dances, Op. 72
Bedřich Smetana Vltava (The Moldau), from My Country

German piano duo and twin sisters Clara and Marie Becker present a four-hands recital with music from the 19th century, taking the audience on a trip to Europe that will let you discover some of the most important works written in the Romantic era.

During the 19th century, most composers dedicated themselves to composing or arranging works for two pianists. Franz Schubert, for instance, didn’t only compose the well-known Fantasy for piano four-hands; we could listen to seven concerts with music written by him solely for this genre. Bedřich Smetana also reworked his widely appreciated orchestral work My Country, and arranged it for piano four hands to make the music accessible to a larger audience.

During this musical travel we will furthermore encounter music by another important Czech composer: Antonín Dvořák. Interestingly enough, he first composed the Slavonic Dances for piano four-hands and only orchestrated them later. Felix Mendelssohn’s highly gifted sister Fanny was the ideal partner to make music together. Although he did not write many works for this genre, his virtuoso Andante & Allegro brillant is a veritable jewel.

Clara & Marie Becker regularly receive invitations to festivals and play recitals as well as concerts as soloists with orchestras in Germany and abroad (Italy, France, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Israel, USA and Russia to name a few). Highlights from last season were appearances on German TV (SWR) and radio, and they were featured in an article in the June 2020 edition of BBC Music Magazine with their recital in Lecce, Italy at the Festival ClassicheFORME.

The young pianist’s multifaceted repertoire ranges from baroque to contemporary for either one or two pianos and they encourage composers to write new compositions for this genre. In June 2022 they are going to premiere Artemis by Pauchi Sasaki, a newly written piece for two pianos and electronics in the frame of the prestigious festival Dresdner Musikfestspiele in Germany. After their successful debut in New York City (2019), Clara and Marie are now returning to the United States with a beautifully composed program with literature for piano four-hands.

The twins are dedicatees of the newly composed Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra by Mathias Christian Kosel. Their close collaboration with the composer represents a significant achievement in their work to date. A short behind-the-scenes documentary about this project is available in German. In 2016 Clara and Marie were guests at Carrefour de l’Odéon performing Dialog, a piece written especially for them by Birgitta Lutz. This performance was broadcast live from Paris on Radio France. The young pianist’s multifaceted repertoire ranges from baroque to contemporary for either one or two pianos and they hope to encourage new compositions for this genre.

Additional support for this concert is provided by the Goethe Institut.

Old First Concerts has volunteer opportunities available!

Our concerts rely on the generosity of volunteers to assist with simple tasks like:

ushering

distributing programs

box office

set-up and clean-up

Scheduling is flexible — you choose when to work! We especially need helping hands for our Friday and Saturday night performances.

An excellent opportunity for students, seniors, or anyone who possesses a love for music!

If you’d like to consider volunteering with Old First Concerts, please contact curtishuth@oldfirstconcerts.org for more information.