Mark Bebbington launches ‘Pianograms’ – a new piano series at St John’s Smith Square
British pianist Mark Bebbington launches ‘Pianograms’, an exciting three recital series at St. John’s Smith Square, in which he contrasts the themes of Grand Opera, Island Stories and Portraits with acknowledged masterpieces from the central piano repertoire – Schubert’s Sonatas in B flat major D960, A major D664, Franck’s Prélude, Choral et Fugue and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.
The series opens on Wednesday, 14th November with ‘Scenes from the Opera’, the first concert featuring Liszt’s virtuoso transcriptions for piano drawn from some of the great operas of Donizetti, Verdi and Wagner. From the introspection of Wagner’s ‘Liebestod’ and Liszt’s haunting reworking of Aida’s ‘Duetto Finale’, through to the pianistic brilliance of dazzling Lucia di Lammermoor and Rigoletto, Bebbington reveals the multiplicity of Liszt’s style and pianistic thinking. For the first half of this concert, Bebbington has chosen an undisputed masterpiece from the nineteenth-century, Schubert’s sublime and valedictory final Sonata in B flat major D960.
For his second recital on April 4th, 2019, ‘Island Stories’, Mark Bebbington includes John Ireland’s vivid evocation of an ancient Guernsey, Sarnia – perhaps his greatest work for solo piano. The inclusion of this work reflects Bebbington’s enthusiasm for British piano music and in particular the five ***** BBC Music Magazine reviews for his recent Ireland recordings. Timelessness is also conjured in Satie’s mystical Gnossienne, whilst Cesar Franck takes as his starting point the purity of J. S. Bach’s contrapuntal writing for his great work of spiritual pilgrimage Prélude, Choral et Fugue.
For his final recital, ‘Portraits’, on 4th July, 2019, Bebbington has chosen one of classical music’s finest example of musical portraiture, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition – a work perfectly matched to the grandeur and acoustic of St. John’s – which he will play alongside Schubert at his most lyrical and intimate, Sonata in A major D664 and Impromptus D899.
Booking is now open for this imaginative piano series and includes a special 3 for 2 offer if attending all three concerts in the series.
PIANOGRAMS I – SCENES FROM THE OPERA
14 November 2018, 7.30pm – St John’s Smith Square, London
Scarlatti Sonata in F sharp K318
Scarlatti Sonata in B minor K87
Scarlatti Sonata in D K492
Schubert Sonata in B flat D960
Verdi / Liszt Danza sacra e duetto finale d’Aida
Wagner / Liszt Isolde’s Liebestod
Donizetti / Liszt Réminiscences de Lucia di Lammermoor
Verdi / Liszt Rigoletto Paraphrase de Concert
PIANOGRAMS II – ISLAND STORIES
4 April 2019, 7.30pm – St John’s Smith Square, London
Fauré Nocturne in D flat major Op. 63
Franck Prelude, Choral et Fugue
Satie Gnossienne No. 4
Satie Embryons Desséchés
Ireland Sarnia – an island sequence
Chopin Nocturne in B flat minor Op. 9, No. 1 & Nocturne in F major Op. 15, No.1
Chopin Ballade in G minor, Op. 23
PIANOGRAMS III – Portraits
4 July 2019, 7.30pm – St John’s Smith Square, London
Schubert Impromptus D899
Schubert Sonata in A major, D664
Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition