Daniel Glover, piano
Franz Joseph Hayden Sonata in E minor, Hob. XVI: 34
Johannes Brahms Two Rhapsodies, Op. 79
Charles Valentin Alkan Festin d’Esope (Aesop’s Feast)
Isaac Albéniz Iberia, Book 2 (Rondena, Almeria, Triana)
Frédéric Chopin Fantasy on Polish Airs, Op. 13
Daniel Glover’s program features both familiar gems of the piano repertoire, as well as piano music that is somewhat less familiar from the 18th through 20th Centuries. Works include Haydn’s buoyant E minor sonata and Brahms’ brooding and emotional Two Rhapsodies, Op. 79. The reclusive and mysterious French composer, Charles Valentin Alkan is represented by his 12th and final etude, Aesop’s Feast, from the cycle known as Etudes in the Minor Keys, Op. 39. Alkan’s has the (perhaps overblown) legendary reputation of composing the “most difficult music ever composed for the piano.” This has kept his music out of the hands of all but the most intrepid and brave pianists. It was rumored that Liszt was so intimidated by Alkan that he wouldn’t play for him. Aesop’s Feast is a set of 25 variations on an original theme, and the orchestral writing amply displays why his contemporaries referred to him as the “Berlioz of the piano.” The work allows the listener’s imagination to run wild, as he hears references to all manner of wild and tamer beasts. Isaac Albéniz’ masterpiece, Iberia, is represented by three of the most popular and enduring works from Book 2 of the cycle, including Triana, a rousing and brilliant musical representation of this lively “Greenwich Village” section of Seville. Chopin’s less often performed Fantasy on Polish Airs was composed for piano and orchestra at the age of 18. This may be the least well known piece from this genre but was a personal favorite of the composer, perhaps in no large part due to the fact that he frequently heard his mother singing one of the popular tunes he utilized in this potpourri.