The “Best” Piano Music of All Time?

Just for fun, artistic director, Jennifer West, and pianist, Michael Noble, decided to recommend to everyone a top piano hits playlist!

Here is a fairly good list to get you started in each musical period.  Some recommended recordings can be found in brackets.

What are your favourites?  Anything we should add to get people started on the ultimate piano playlist?

Happy listening!

Baroque

J.S. Bach – Goldberg Variations (Glenn Gould – 1955, Jeremy Denk)

J.S. Bach – Partita no. 1 in B-flat Major (Igor Levit)

J.S. Bach – Partita 6 for keyboard (Perahia)

Handel – Keyboard Suites

Scarlatti – Sonata in E Major, K. 380

Scarlatti – Sonata in d minor, K. 141

 

Classical

Haydn – C Major, Hob XVI:50 (Gilbert Kalish)

Haydn – E-flat Major, Hob. XVI:52 (András Schiff)

Mozart – Sonata in F Major, K. 332 (Mitsuko Uchida)

Mozart – Sonata in B-flat Major, K. 333 (Ingrid Haebler)

Mozart – Concerto no. 20 in d minor (Clara Haskil)

Mozart – Concerto no. 23 in A Major, K. 488 (Clifford Curzon)

Beethoven – Concerto no. 4, op. 58 in G Major – (R. Serkin)

Beethoven – Concert no. 5, op. 73 in E-Flat Major (Emperor) – (R. Serkin)

Beethoven – Sonata in C Major, op. 2, no. 3 (Paul Lewis)

Beethoven – Sonata in F-sharp Major, op. 78 (W. Backhaus)

Beethoven – Sonata in E Major, op. 109 (Maurizio Pollini)

Schubert – Piano Sonata in B-flat Major, D. 960 (Daniel Shapiro)

Schubert – Piano Sonata in A Major, D. 959 (Imogen Cooper)

Schubert – Drei Klavierstucke, D. 946 (Grigory Sokolov)

 

Romantic

Chopin – Ballade no. 4, f minor

Chopin – Preludes, op. 28 (Sokolov)

Chopin – Barcarolle, Op. 68

Schumann – Fantasy in C Major (M. Argerich)

Schumann – Carnaval (Youri Egorov)

Schumann – Humoreske, op. 20

Schumann – Concerto in a minor, op. 54

Liszt – Sonata in b minor (Yundi Li)

Liszt – Ballade no. 2

Brahms – op. 118 (Julius Katchen)

Brahms – Variations on a theme by Handel, op. 24 (Stephen Kovacevich)

Tchaikovsky – The Seasons, op. 37 (Nikolai Lugansky)

 

Twentieth Century

Ravel – Tombeau de Couperin (Louis Lortie)

Ravel – Miroirs

Ravel – Gaspard de la nuit (Benjamin Grosvenor)

Debussy – Images oublies

Debussy – Cathédrale engloutie (from the Preludes)

Debussy – Sarabande from Pour le piano

Poulenc – Two piano concerto

Rachmaninoff – Piano Concerto no. 1 (underplayed gem!)

Prokofiev – Sonata no. 7

Prokofiev – Concerto no. 2 in g minor

Stravinsky – Firebird Suite (arr. Agosti)

Stravinsky – Serenade in A Major

Ligeti – Etudes

Ligeti – Musica Ricercata

John Cage – Dream

John Cage – In a Landscape

Frederick Rzewski – The People United Will Never Be Defeated!

Béla Bartók – Piano Sonata

Béla Bartók – Out of Doors Suite

George Crumb – Macrocosmos

George Gershwin – Three Preludes

Tan Dun – Eight Studies in Watercolour

Anton Webern – Piano Variations, Op. 27

Alban Berg – Piano Sonata

Arnold Schoenberg – Drei Klavierstucke, Op. 11

Aaron Jay Kernis – Superstar Etude No. 1

Charles Ives – Concord Sonata

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Unity through Art

Dear friends,

We are saddened, troubled, and sickened by the events in Charlottesville, Virginia.  Throughout our short 4 years of presenting concerts, we have made it our mission to build an inclusive community based on a common bond for the love of music.

We have presented musicians that are from different faith backgrounds, different sexual orientations, different ethnic backgrounds, and different countries.  We have a special place in our hearts for our American friends who are able to travel to us and play beautiful music in our spaces.  We hope that you continue to bring beauty to your own communities in an effort to forge bonds of unity.

The bonds created by sharing musical experiences are truly spiritual.  They are quickly forged and hard to break.  Let us use music to create a society in which people co-exist peacefully and are able to state their differences peacefully and with dignity.

The staff and administration of Müzewest official condemn racism, prejudice, and hate in all of its forms.  Artists have never remained silent in such times and so it follows that we too will take a stand.  Our audience will continue to be a safe space for all people and we will ensure the safety of all guests.  Our selection of musicians will continue to reflect the diversity of our society.

Summer Concert in Partnership with Canadian Music Centre

We are thrilled to announce that our Friday, July 28th concert will be in partnership with the Canadian Music Centre BC. It is located at 837 Davie Street, between Howe and Hornby.

The concert will start 19:00 sharp.  It features two very promising young musicians – Michael Noble (a Doctoral student in piano from Yale University) and Oskar Falta (a Doctoral student in cello from UBC.)  Their concert will include two prominent Canadian composers: Oskar Morawetz and Jocelyn Morlock.

Tickets are available herehttp://tickets.artspoints.com/events/97_Summer-Series-2-Oskar-Falta-and-Michael-Noble-The-Cello-and-Piano-Across-Time

PROGRAM:

Jocelyn Morlock (1969 – ) – Halcyon (2003)
Ludwig v. Beethoven (1770-1827) – Sonata for cello + piano, no. 3, A Major, op. 69 (1808)
Oskar Morawetz (1917- 2007) – Fantasy No. 1 for cello + piano (1970)
Claude Debussy (1862- 1918) – Sonata for cello + piano in d minor, L. 135 (1915)

The Artists:

Oskar Falta

OSKAR FALTA Portrait 2

Born in Prague, Oskar is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he was a recepient of the Vivian Joseph Scholarship, studying with Christoph Richter and Guy Johnston. He has previously attended the Robert Schumann Hochschule in Düsseldorf in the class of Gregor Horsch, principal cellist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Oskar has further broadened his studies at masterclasses of Alexander Ivashkin, Robert Cohen, Colin Carr or Steven Doane and by studying privately with Michel Strauss in Paris. He was the principal cellist of Académie d’Orchestre Régis Pasquier and participated in projects of the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, National Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands and the Stockhausen co-project of the Manson Ensemble and London Sinfonietta. He has performed solo and chamber music recitals at venues such as St. James’s Piccadilly or Abbaye de Fontenay and has taken part at different festivals across Europe, e.g. Musica Reservata, Musique en Morvan or Rencontres Musicales Alberto Lysy. Oskar is currently pursuing his doctoral studies at the UBC with Prof. Eric Wilson.

Michael Noble

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Michael Noble has developed an international reputation as an “astonishing” (Het Nieuwsblad) pianist of a multifarious repertoire. After giving his first recital at the age of six, he has gone on to perform across Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

A prizewinner of numerous competitions, including the Grand Prize at the Carmel Music Society Competition, Gold Medal at the Crescendo Music Awards (Tulsa, OK), and laureate of the Chopin International Competition of the 1000 Islands, Mr. Noble has been called “a pianist to remember” by Het Nieuwsblad, and his playing has been hailed as “elegant, stylish, and powerful” (Peninsula News), “poetic” (Het Nieuwsblad), and “excellent” (Tulsa World).

He has performed on the stages of Carnegie Hall, at the Bulgarian Embassy in Washington, D.C., Carmel’s Sunset Center, Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, the National Academy for the Performing Arts of Trinidad and Tobago, and the Royal Dublin Society, and has been a guest artist at festivals including the Gentsche Festspiele, the Lake George Music Festival, and the Idyllwild Arts Academy Summer Festival.

Mr. Noble has been featured as soloist with the Monterey and Tulsa Symphonies, and the Idyllwild Arts Academy Alumni Orchestra, among others, and has had the privilege of working with eminent conductors including Ransom Wilson, Gisele Ben-Dor, and Peter Askim. Additionally, he has worked with the most renowned artists in the field including Gary Graffman, the late Claude Frank, Christopher Elton, Ursula Oppens, John Perry, Boris Berman, Hung-Kuan Chen, Robert McDonald, and members of the Brentano and Tokyo Quartets.

In 2008, Mr. Noble attended the Paris Conservatoire. Following this, he obtained his Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and Bachelor of Arts in English Literature cum laude from the Eastman School of Music and University of Rochester respectively. He received his Master of Music and Master of Musical Arts at the Yale School of Music and is now a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts there. Subsequently, Mr. Noble completed a one-year residency in Ghent, Belgium as a fellow of the Belgian American Educational Foundation where he focused on contemporary music. His principal teachers include Peter Frankl, Nelita True, Melvin Chen, Nicholas Angelich, and Nelms McKelvain, while significant mentors include Daan Vandewalle, Marc Durand, John O’Conor, Martin Bresnick, and Ani Kavafian.

In addition to his activities as a performer, Mr. Noble is the co-founder and director of the Brussels-based “Music of Changes,” a concert series that presents dynamic programs juxtaposing contemporary music with that of the past.

Highlights of the current season include performances with the Monterey Symphony and the Idyllwild Arts Academy Alumni Orchestra, overseeing the second annual Music of Changes Festival in Brussels, an artist residency at the Thailand International Composition Festival, concerts as a member of the piano-harp Duo Aeterna, and solo and chamber performances throughout Belgium, Canada, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States.

Müzewest Summer Festival Announced!

Here in Vancouver, the days are long and the sunsets are glorious in the summer.  To add to that, let’s add some amazing chamber music!

For tickets to all events please visit: http://tickets.artspoints.com/events

 

Friday, July 28, 2017 – Canadian Music Centre – BC Region – 837 Davie Street
This concert will begin at 19:00 sharp *

Oskar Falta, cello
Michael Noble, piano

Program will include:

Jocelyn Morlock (1969 – ) – Halcyon (2003)
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) – Sonata for cello + piano, no. 3, A Major, op. 69 (1808)
Oskar Morawetz (1917- 2007) – Fantasy No. 1 for cello + piano (1970)
Claude Debussy (1862- 1918) – Sonata for cello + piano in d minor, L. 135 (1915)

This concert is in partnership with the Canadian Music Centre.

Saturday, July 29, 2017 – 19:30 at St. Helen’s Anglican Church (4405 West 8th Avenue)

Michael Noble, piano
Sunny Qu, piano

Program will include:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Piano Sonata in B-flat Major, K. 570 (1789)
Franz Schubert – Fantasie in f minor for four hands, D. 940 (1828)
“Namucuo”, op. 53 by  Xiao-gang Ye
“Bells” from Dreams by Frederick Rzewski
Maurice Ravel – Mère l’Oye for four hands (1910)

Summer Festival Artists:

OSKAR FALTA Portrait 2

Oskar Falta, cello

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Michael Noble, piano

Yue Qu DSC_1693

Sunny Yue Qu, piano

MICHAEL NOBLE

Michael Noble has developed an international reputation as an “astonishing” (Het Nieuwblad) and “elegant, stylish, and powerful” pianist (Peninsula News) of a multifarious repertoire. After giving his first recital at the age of six, he has gone on to perform across Asia, Europe, and the Americas. The winner of numerous competitions, Mr. Noble has performed at such venues as Carnegie Hall, and has worked with numerous eminent musicians and conductors. He has studied at the Paris Conservative, obtained a BA in piano performance at the Eastman School of Music and a BA in English Literature cum laude at the University of Rochester, received an MA at the Yale School of Music, and is now a doctoral candidate there. In addition to his many activities as a performer, Mr. Noble is the co-founder and director of the Brussels-based “Music of Changes,” a concert series that presents dynamic programs juxtaposing contemporary music with that of the past.

OSKAR FALTA

Born in Prague, Oskar Falta is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he studied with Christoph Richter and Guy Johnston. He had previously studied at the Robert Schumann Hochschule in Dusseldorf in the class of Gregor Horsch, principal cellist of the the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He was principal cellist of Academie d’Orchestre Regis Pasquier, has participated in numerous musical projects, performed in solo chamber music recitals, and has taken part in various festivals across Europe. Oskar is currently pursuing his doctoral studies at UBC with Professor Eric Wilson.

SUNNY QU

Pianist Sunny Qu was born in Qingdao, China and later raised in Vancouver, Canada. Sunny began piano lessons at an early age, and has met with success and recognition in competitions and festivals since his teenage years. Since then he has performed on three continents in such venues as the Weiner Salle in Salzburg, Austria, Duke’s Hall in London, England, and the Chan Centre in his native Vancouver, as well as being invited to perform in the Russian Embassy of Osaka, Japan on a special occasion.

Equally at home with repertoire from the Baroque period to the modern day, Sunny is known for eclectic to approach to programming innovative recitals with a link to the past. This has been cultivated by an interest in the composer and pianist Ferruccio Busoni. In addition to actively seeking out and performing Busoni’s lesser known compositions.

Sunny was the third prize winner of the 2009 Knigge Competition, as well as a past winner of the UBC Concerto Competition. He has subsequently performed with the UBC Symphony Orchestra, as well as the West Coast Symphony Orchestra. He was also the recipient of the Johann Strauss Foundation Award in 2009, and the Else Cross Brahms Prize from the Royal Academy of Music in London, England in 2013.

Sunny was a graduate of the UBC School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music where he studied with Sara Davis Buechner and Hamish Milne. His past teachers include renowned pedagogue Edward Parker and concert pianist Ian Parker. He was also fortunate to receive guidance during his studies from such artists as Anton Kuerti, Robert Levin, Joanna MacGregor, Pascal Devoyon, and Steven Osborne. He is currently studying with Professor Jeffrey Kahane at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA at the USC Thornton School of Music.

Müzewest Announces 5th Season!

We are thrilled to announce our 5th annual concert season!

We have a wonderful, varied, and distinguished line up of artists for you!
Fri. Oct. 20, 2017 – Wayne Weng, piano – 730 PM, St. Helen’s Anglican Church (St.HAC)
Fri. Nov. 24, 2017 – Asiya Korepanova, piano – 730 PM, Showcase Pianos FAZIOLI
Fri. Jan. 19, 2018 – Lee Duckles, cello, and Lixia Li, piano – 730 PM, Showcase Pianos
Sat. Feb. 3, 2018 –  Rob Cohen & Pat Tao – cello & piano duo – 730 PM – Showcase Pianos
Fri. Feb. 16, 2018 – Emma Hoglund, piano – 730 PM – Showcase Pianos
Fri. Mar. 2, 2018 – Flûte Alors! – 730 PM – Old Barn Community Centre (UBC)
Sat. Mar. 3, 2018 – Alexei Tartakovsky, piano – 730 PM – Showcase Pianos
Fri. Apr. 20, 2018 – John Dupuis, piano – 730 PM – Canadian Music Centre (837 Davie St.)
Fri. Apr. 27, 2018 – Edmundo Gonzalez & Derek Stanyer, piano – 730 PM – (Showcase)
Fri. May 25, 2018 – Fireside Wind Quintet – 700 PM – Canadian Music Centre (BC Region)
Sat. May 26, 2018 – Fireside Wind Quintet – 730 PM – Old Barn Community Centre

Tickets will are available through Artspoints!

Showcase Pianos FAZIOLI is located at 1128 West Broadway, Vancouver.

 

 

 

March 12 Concert announcement

Dear friends,

Due to health reasons, pianist Alexei Tartakovsky is not able to join us.  We are, however, thrilled to announce that Andrew J. Yang, a New York-based pianist will be performing in his place.

Currently completing his Masters at the Mannes School for Music in New York, Yang is already in demand as a soloist and chamber musician. Find out more about this fantastic artist herehttp://www.andrewyangpiano.com/biography

The recital program is as follows:

J.S. Bach: Prelude and Fugue in C# Minor, BWV 849 (1722)
S. Gubaidulina: Chaconne (1962)
J. Brahms: 7 Fantasies, Op. 116 (1892)

Intermission

Schubert: Impromptu in C Minor, op. 90 no. 1 (1827)
M.H. Park: …D’aprés “Pour l’Egyptienne” (2013)
Ravel: Prelude in A Minor (1913)
Ravel: Menuet, from Le Tombeau de Couperin (1917)                        
Beethoven: Sonata No. 32 C Minor, op. 111 (1822)

Here is a fantastic sample of what we can look forward to from Mr. Yang. We can’t wait for his recital at 3 PM  Sun. March 12 at St. Helen’s Anglican Church!

Concert Review: New Orford String Quartet shine in Brahms and Debussy

You’d think after a week of string quartets at the Banff Centre that we’d want to hear something else to kick off the season in Vancouver. Guess you can’t have too much of a good thing!  The New Orford String Quartet was far beyond good, however.  This is a superlative group of musicians who are playing quartet repertoire at the finest level.  The quartet goes beyond being excellent string players and illustrated what it means to be complete musicians.  They offered the lucky audience at Music in the Morning a wonderful concert of Brahms and Debussy.

The New Orford String Quartet (NOSQ) started the concert with Brahms’ String Quartet in a minor, op. 51, no. 2.  The first movement featured excellent phrasing and a terrific sense of ensemble.   The playing was elegant with the group producing a truly luxurious sound.  The transitions between thematic material were well-executed and the rhythmic vitality was impressive.  In the second movement of the Brahms, the group created a rich sound.   They achieved the tenderness necessary for this music and the effect was quite touching.  The thematic motif was passed effortlessly between the members of the quartet, demonstrating their amazing ability to communicate with each other on stage.  The third movement of the Brahms is a reflection of the composer striking the balance between classicism and romanticism.  The NOSQ played impeccably and set the mood very well so that one had the impression that many of the musical parts were simply floating beautifully.  They played this movement with imagination.  Finally, the fourth movement of the Brahms quartet was an exciting affair. Although energetic and driven, it was never unpolished.  There were great dynamics swells and the quartet showed the recurring harmonic tension all the way through to the thrilling finale.

The Debussy String Quartet in g minor, op. 10, followed the Brahms.  The NOSQ played the first movement with a sense of freedom and the playing with infused with joy.  The soundscape that they created was truly symphonic in nature.  The vitality of the first movement was fantastic.  The second movement of the Debussy again showed the quartet’s ability to create dynamic contrasts.  The pizzicatos gave the movement a fantastic sense of energy and it was a very uplifting part of the performance.  One would be hard-pressed to find richer quartet repertoire than the third movement of the Debussy Quartet.  The audience was completely spellbound and one did not dare move at this beginning of this movement as each voice of the quartet enters.  The NOSQ played with great nuance and the sweeping phrases made this an unforgettable element of the performance.   The fourth movement featured great balance between the players and was a very convincing conclusion to a magnificent performance.

2016nosq-standing

The New Orford String Quartet is Jonathan Crow (violin, concertmaster of the TSO), Andrew Wan (violon solo, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal), Brian Manker (principal cellist, OSM), and Eric Nowlin (principal violist, Detroit Symphony Orchestra)

The New Orford String Quartet formed in 2009.  Seven years later, those of us who have been in the audience for their shows can confirm how happy we are that these four spectacular players came together to form an ensemble.  Each member of the quartet pursues an extremely busy orchestral career (as principals!) and has a significant teaching load.  This does not prevent their evident dedication to string quartet repertoire.  Simply put, the New Orford String Quartet is one of the finest chamber music groups you can hear in a concert hall these days.  We the audience are the fortunate beneficiaries of their hard work, talent, and willingness to share their gift of music.