San Francisco's Home for Great Concerts since 1970

Robert Schwartz – April 1, 2016

Robert Schwartz, piano

Scarlatti 3 Sonatas
Ravel Miroirs
Bach Partita No. 3 in A Minor
Scriabin Sonata No. 4

Schwartz presents a new program that alternates works from the baroque period with works from the beginning of the 20th century. The program opens with three Domenico Scarlatti sonatas that feature the composer’s brilliant and refined virtuosity. Rapid scales, repeated notes and death-defying leaps across the keyboard convey the intensity and charm of Spanish guitars and mandolins. Schwartz follows with the vividly pictorial Miroirs of Maurice Ravel: five pieces of extraordinary imagination that possess a vast breadth of color and mood from fluttering moths to noble ethereal bells. The Ravel set includes the exhilarating Alborada del Gracioso, a Spanish-styled showpiece that is an all-time favorite with audiences, often heard in Ravel’s superb orchestration. The second half begins with Bach’s rarely played third partita, a set of dances that displays striking contrasts despite the stylistic boundaries of the baroque style. Finally, Scriabin’s ecstatic Sonata No. 4 finishes the program. This two-movement sonata is one of Scriabin’s shortest at 7 minutes, beginning with an extended lyrical introduction followed by a delirious presto. Scriabin achieves a remarkable cumulative effect by transforming the introduction’s poetic melody into a heroic clarion declamation that appears in the middle of the presto and then becomes the sonata’s thrilling climactic conclusion. This is a program of dazzling variety and depth that should not be missed!

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