Standing: DuEwa Kamara, Jeffrey Rubin, Yukiko Takedai, Amy Kett,
Stuart Rosenthal, Jack Stabile

Seated: Michelle Powell, Carol Barth, Judith Block, Audrey Kunkler

The third Encore of this season took place at Gaithersburg Library in Gaithersburg, Maryland. This is a new venue for the club. Several of the branch libraries in Montgomery County have meeting/gathering rooms with pianos. The one at this branch is a nice Kawai parlor grand in polished mahogany finish.

Amy Kett started off the recital with the Andante movement from Brahms’ third sonata. She mentioned that the movement is programmatic in that it opens by quoting a poem, and that the sonata is likely one of the works that Brahms brought with him when he first visited Robert and Clara Schumann in 1853. 

Carol Barth was next up, and she started with another Brahms work: the Intermezzo in B minor. She also talked about the connection between Brahms and the two Schumanns, and played a work by each of the three composers. 

Next was Michelle Powell, who played the Chopin “Revolutionary” Etude, first telling how it was inspired by Chopin’s anger and pain over the failed Polish rebellion against Russia. She followed with the popular Granados Spanish dance “Andaluza.”

DuEwa Kamara played the opening piece from Debussy’s “Suite Bergamasque,” first remarking how it is an early work of Debussy dating from 1890, but not published until over 10 years later, and that the title of the suite refers to a type of dance. 

Yukiko Takedai was next, with Chopin’s fourth Ballade. It is the longest and most intricate of the four Ballades, and is regarded by many as a pinnacle of Romantic-era piano composition. 

Jeffrey Rubin introduced us to a little-known Brazilian composer — Luiz Levy — with a waltz that alternates minor and major key sections, and, following that, a short prelude by Russian “mighty five” composer Cesar Cui.

Judith Block followed with two more preludes by another Russian composer, Rachmaninoff. She remarked that the first of the two highly contrasting works was labeled as a minuet, but a very different sort of minuet than that seen in an earlier musical era, and that the second was a favorite encore of Horowitz. 

Next, Stuart Rosenthal played Bortkiewicz’s “Humoreske.” Then he got up and introduced his next piece — the Kabalevsky Prelude Op. 5, No. 2. He said it is so short and ends so abruptly, that it seems like there should be more. So, he tapped his compositional ability to create a longer piece inspired by the material of Kabalevsky. 

Jack Stabile closed the recital with Chopin’s second Scherzo. He said that Chopin turned the Scherzo form on its head, giving us the opposite of the light humor and frolic of the Classical period scherzi. In recent Encores, Jack has also played the first and fourth scherzi. Just one more to go!

Our next Encore recital will be held on Saturday, July 6th. If you wish to participate, contact Mark Ross at mross@amsfperform.org.

Program

Sonata in F minor, Op. 5 — J. Brahm
II. Andante
Amy Kett, piano

Intermezzo in B minor (Op. 119, No. 1) — J. Brahms
Impromptu in E major (1844) — C. Schumann
Des Abends (Op. 12, No. 1) — R. Schumann
from Fantasiestücke
Carol Barth, piano

Etude in C minor (Op. 10, No. 12) — F. Chopin
Danza Española No. 5: Andaluza (Playera) — E. Granados
Michelle Powell, piano

Prélude from Suite Bergamasque — C. Debussy
DuEwa Kamara, piano

Ballade in F minor (Op. 52, No. 4) — F. Chopin
Yukiko Takedai, piano

Valsa lenta (Op. 32, No. 4) — L. Levy
Prelude in E major (Op. 64, No. 9) — C. Cui
 Jeffrey Rubin, piano

Prelude in D minor (Op. 23, No. 3) — S. Rachmaninoff
Prelude in G major (Op. 32, No. 5) — S. Rachmaninoff
Judith Block, piano

Humoreske (Op. 61, No. 4) — S. Bortkiewicz
 from Fantasiestücke
Prelude in C major (Op. 5, No. 2) — D. Kabalevsky
Fantasy on a Prelude by Kabalevsky — original work by the pianist
Stuart Rosenthal, piano

Scherzo in Bb minor (Op. 31, No. 2) — F. Chopin
Jack Stabile, piano