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New York 1925 – Los Angeles 1937

Past Event
Wed, 18. January 2023 | 19:30 UhrKKL Luzern, Konzertsaal

6.30pm | Pre-concert talk with Gabriela Kaegi

  • George Gershwin (1898 – 1937)

    • Piano Concerto in F

  • Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897)

    • Piano Quartet No.1 in G minor

    • arr. for large orchestra by Arnold Schönberg (1874 – 1951)

His “Rhapsody in Blue” of 1924 quickly turned out to be a hit with the public, and so the New Yorker George Gershwin, inspired by such success, followed it up only one year later with a Piano Concerto in F. With its ingenious mixture of classical form and jazzy sound, this piece also became an international success. “Since then, these two works by Gershwin have come to fundamentally embody the essence of American music,” says Jean-Yves Thibaudet. And swing is central to this music: “If you don’t swing, you don’t play the Concerto in F. It quite clearly has a foot in each camp, and I like this ambiguity.” The second work in this concert programme is also ambiguous. It was the great conductor Otto Klemperer who persuaded Arnold Schoenberg in Los Angeles in 1937 to orchestrate Brahms’ G minor Piano Quartet. Here, Romanticism is cloaked in the sound world of a twelve-tone musician. “All I had to do was transfer this sound to the orchestra, and that’s all I did,” Schönberg said with typical understatement. However, Otto Klemperer was deeply impressed and full of praise: “One doesn‘t even want to hear the original quartet any more, the arrangement sounds so beautiful.”

Fascination of keys

After Camille Saint-Saëns and Johannes Brahms in 2021 and 2022, the focus of our piano festival will now be on Robert Schumann, among others, interpreted by world stars such as Martha Argerich, Rudolf Buchbinder and Khatia Buniatishvili.

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