In three evening programs, pianist Brian Connelly will play music from different eras – with a beautiful piano from each period – in the intimate and convivial atmosphere of private homes. Refreshments will be served.
September 21: Drama
On the Cusp of the 19th Century
Great composers at the turn of the 19th century wrote to exploit the remarkable tonal and expressive variety of the perfected Viennese piano. Haydn composed sonatas of unprecedented grandeur and gaiety; Dussek and Weber created magical atmospheres of pathos and brilliance, and Beethoven shocked his listeners with an eerie and unforgettable tone poem. When you hear it played on an exquisite 6-pedal Rosenberger piano from the time, you'll understand why it's called “Moonlight.”
October 5: Romance
Robert and Clara and Johannes
In 1853, the 20-year-old Brahms met his idol, Robert Schumann, and lived with him and his wife Clara in a period of great creativity for all three artists. Their piano pieces from the time are deeply personal outpourings of affection, admiration and devotion. But Robert's sanity was tragically waning; within five months he was committed to an asylum. This program will feature a glorious 19th-century Bösendorfer piano of uncommon beauty and warmth.
October 24: Vision
The Late Works of Claude Debussy
From early in his career, Debussy's music was startlingly original. In his last years, his work became ever more imaginative and innovative in color, form, language, allusion and atmosphere. These mesmerizing and seductive works have influenced a century of composers. Indeed, we are still trying to catch up to him. This evening will focus on his last and perhaps greatest piano pieces of character, and vision: The Etudes of 1915, performed on a Steinway concert grand piano.
Brian Connelly's career embraces an unusually broad range of historical and modern repertoires and styles. He has premiered works by a host of contemporary composers, and is widely known for his performances of the music of modern master Olivier Messiaen. He is respected as a scholar and performer of historical instruments, appearing throughout the U.S. and Europe. He is Artistic Director of the renowned chamber ensemble, Context, and teaches piano performance and chamber music in the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University.