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Revel in Chopin: A Unique Concert with Pianist Brian Ganz

Ganz at keyboard exaulted

By Mittie Roger

As Robert Schumann said, “[Chopin] is and remains the boldest and most poetic spirit of his time.”

Music
Pro Musica Concert Series
By Brian Ganz
Sun, Nov 13, 4pm
St. Paul’s Church, Calle Cardo
150, 250, 350 pesos

Brian Ganz, a wildly talented pianist and committed interpreter of Chopin, will be performing in San Miguel for one night only: Sunday, November 13, at 4pm at St. Paul’s Church on calle Cardo. The Washington Post raved that hearing “a recital by pianist Brian Ganz [one is] not only exhilarated by the power of the performance but also moved by his search for artistic truth.”

Since 2011, Ganz has been collaborating with the National Philharmonic to perform the complete works of Chopin at the Music Center at Strathmore, outside of Washington DC. The Washington Post also had something to say about the inaugural concert of the project: “Brian Ganz was masterly in his first installment of the complete works [of Chopin].” Ganz is committing 10 years to performing the complete works of Chopin.

Ganz’s concert on Sunday is part of this magnificent undertaking and will start with the impromptus, including the incomparable “Fantaisie-Impromptu.” The term “impromptu” implies a spontaneous ad-lib, which was common for musicians of the early 1800s, much like modern jazz composers. Chopin composed four impromptus, originally inspired by Schubert, which are counted among his most popular works. It’s quite likely that many of his published compositions began in the process of improvisation. Many of you will recognize the familiar melody of Chopin’s “Fantaisie-Impromptu” as it was later revised for the popular 1917 song “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows.” That version became quite trendy and was performed by singers such as Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, and Frank Sinatra.

Ganz will perform some of Chopin’s nocturnes. Similar to impromptus, nocturnes are solo pieces for piano played in one movement. Chopin’s lyrical melodies are ornately decorated, characterized by wide pitch ranges and the sustained sounds of the then recently-developed pedal. His 21 nocturnes are the best known examples of the style and their familiar melodies have become a consistent theme in the last two centuries of classical music.

Finally, Ganz will play a selection of Chopin’s études, which were revolutionary in their effect on the piano playing style of the day. Considered some of the most challenging and evocative pieces in the repertoire, they have remained ever popular. Études, or studies, are intended to be teaching tools to help students deal with particular musical issues. Some are purposeful calisthenics to refine technique; others, while didactic, have a beautiful artistic edge. The latter epitomizes Chopin’s études, technically challenging yet irresistibly brilliant, unique, and romantic. Chopin’s études have formed the bedrock for advanced pianistic expression.

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are 150, 250 and 350 pesos donation each and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión, only at Aldama 3; the School of Arts at the Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 22; and at the concert 1/2 hour before performance time.

Details of all Pro Musica’s concerts and Patron Membership are on our web site, promusicasma.org, or contact us at promusicasma@aol.com.

 

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