It’s been fifteen years since New York-born piano legend Richard Goode honoured us with a visit, appearing at the Prague Spring to give a stunning performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2. “Goode, who also studied the piano with Rudolf Serkin, performed the piece with a great sense of the construction of individual sections and of the work as a whole, with brilliance and lightness embellishing all the passages, and gathering momentum until the masterfully executed final Rondo,” wrote Hana Jarolímková in the music magazine Hudební rozhledy. Reviews wax lyrical to this day about his maturity and experience, combined with depth, wisdom and spontaneity. He also hands down his artistic flair and insight as a teacher – his pupil Yekwon Sunwoo gave an outstanding performance at the Rudolf Firkušný Piano Festival two years ago.
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Sonata in F major KV 533/494
- Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Sonata in A major Op. 101
- Fryderyk Chopin: Four Mazurkas Op. 56/2; Op. 59/1–3
- Claude Debussy: Images, Book 2
- Claude Debussy: Three Etudes
- Claude Debussy: L’isle joyeuse
- Richard Goode - piano
The first half of the programme presents the music of Viennese classicists, Mozart’s Sonata in F Major and the melancholy Rondo in A Minor. According to the musicologist Richard Wigmore, “With its yearning appoggiaturas, unquiet chromaticism, and rhapsodic ornamentation, the siciliano-style main theme sounds more prophetic of Chopin than anything else in Mozart.” Before the interval we will hear Beethoven’s late Sonata No. 28. In this work, which begins with a slow movement, the composer departs from the Classical models established by Mozart and Haydn. The second half presents four mazurkas, in which Frédéric Chopin gives an original treatment to the characteristic features of the national dance of his native Poland. The titles of the three movements of Book Two of the impressionistic cycle Images make reference to inspiration from church bells and from the Far East, a fashionable topic in Paris of the early 20th century. In Debussy’s late Etudes, he took inspiration from the famed teacher Carl Czerny, and in each piece he focused on a particular problem of piano technique. The programme ends with one of Debussy’s most frequently performed works, L’isle joyeuse (The Joyful Island), which reflects Debussy’s mood in the summer of 1904, when he and Emma Bardac visited the island of Jersey.