An Alaskan cruise in early June was wonderful! Blankets, layers of clothes, and only 50 degrees. All of my weather complaints on Facebook were met with jealous responses from my San Antonio friends, where at the time, 90 degrees was a relief! It was a beautiful trip.
Next, a trip to Dallas to meet Duo Petrof, pianists Anatoly Zatin and Vlada Vassilieva from Mexico, to figure out the details of Liszt’s Hexameron, for the December concert. A piece for 6 pianists… not easy! Hexameron has been in my plans for the last 5 years. What a fun adventure to finally begin!
The piece was conceived in 1837 by Franz Liszt, who composed the introduction, the second variation, the connecting sections, and the finale, and integrated the piece into an artistic unity. He invited five other popular composer/performers of the day to contribute a variation each: Frédéric Chopin, Carl Czerny, Henri Herz, Johann Peter Pixis, and Sigismond Thalberg.
Hexameron was commissioned for a benefit concert for the poor, taking place on March 31, 1837 at the Paris salon of Princess Cristina Trivulzio Belgiojoso. The piece was not completed on time, but nevertheless the concert was the place where Thalberg and Liszt had their famous ‘piano duel’ for the title of “greatest pianist in the world.” Princess Belgiojoso’s famous judgment was: “Thalberg may be the first pianist in the world, but Liszt is the only one.”
Guess what? Musical Bridges is taking it to the next level! In keeping with our mission to create one-of-a-kind performances, we are arranging the introduction and the finale for 6 pianists, and to stay with Liszt’s fun idea of including other composers, inserting other romantic pieces into the program. As a result, instead of the traditional 12 minute Hexameron, you will be able to experience the only, absolutely unique, 40 minute Hexameron! Including the World Premier of Fantasy by Anatoly Zatin, on music of Robert Schumann and Clara Wieck Schumann, performed by Duo Petrof, Liszt’s astounding Grand gallop chromatique for 6 hands and many, many more!
Listen to Variation IV of Listz’s Hexameron here:
What a fun job I have!
To be continued…