Bach arr. Busoni: Chaconne in D minor, BWV 1004
Busoni: Berceuse, Op. 42
Chopin: Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op. 35
Stephen Hough: Piano Sonata No. 4 ‘Vida Breve’
Liszt: Funerailles from S.173
Liszt: Bagatelle sans tonalité, S 216a
Liszt: Mephisto Waltz no. 1, S 514
Composer, writer and peerless performer, Stephen Hough, takes on the theme of death.
People are reluctant, he notes, to confront the reality of death but ‘in painting, literature and music, death has always been a central subject resulting in the most exalted and inexhaustible expression’. Hough’s programme explores this further.
Bach supposedly wrote the Chaconne in memory of his first wife Maria, while Busoni’s Berceuse acquired, on orchestration, the subtitle ‘the man’s lullaby at his mother’s coffin’. Sonata no. 2 by Chopin has the famous Funeral March slow movement and Hough’s own Sonata no. 4 reflects on the transience of life. Of the three Liszt compositions, Funérailles, commemorates three of the composer’s friends who died in the crushed Hungarian uprising of 1849. The two Mephisto waltzes conjure the devil himself in an unholy brew of dissonance, tension and passion.
Stephen Hough’s previous SJE performances had a charged atmosphere. We anticipate a thrilling evening.