The Breckenridge Music Festival will present a BMF Tuesday Series concert titled “Tuesday with Andrew Tyson” on Tuesday, July 22. The evening’s performance will feature pianist and young concert artist Andrew Tyson, filling in for guest pianist Pan Lyras, and will include works by Alexander Scriabin, Felix Mendelssohn, Camille Saint-Saens, Andre Jolivet and Robert Schumann.
The program includes Mendelssohn’s Andante & Rondo Capriccioso in E Major, Op. 14. Many pianists consider Mendelssohn’s Lieder ohne Worte (“Songs without Words”) the domain of students and accomplished amateurs. Mendelssohn’s four piano sonatas and various other small pieces, therefore, are sadly neglected at professional recitals. There are two exceptions to this oversight: the splendid Variations Serieuses, Op. 54 (1841) and the Andante and Rondo Capriccioso in E Major, Op.14.
The Andante and Rondo Capriccioso has a history that unfolded in two episodes. Mendelssohn sketched an etude in E Minor in January 1828, adding the A Major Andante 2 1/2 years later. The Rondo Capriccioso is a superb example of Mendelssohn’s keyboard style: elegant, balanced in form, with direct and appealing melodies. His incomparable grasp for writing leggiero (with a light touch) anticipates the world of his “Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Rapid oscillating parallel thirds, chromatic scales, ascending and descending arpeggios and double octaves are all intended to dazzle.
Schumann the romantic
Also to be performed in this concert is German composer Schumann’s Quintet for Piano and Strings in E-flat Major, op. 44. Biographies often detail the almost extravagant happiness Robert Schumann experienced in the early years after his marriage to Clara Wieck in 1840. Schumann was a nonrepenting romantic who idealized every nuance of the love he held for his dearest Clara. And so, with Clara’s encouragement, Schumann poured his emotions into music, including the Piano Quintet of 1842.
The Quintet begins in the composer’s lush and opulent manner — a rhapsodic sense of joy showers the air at once with voluptuous tone. It is no coincidence that listeners sometimes note a similarity in the second movement of Opus 44 to the nuance of another very famous second movement: that of Beethoven’s Symphony No.7, which Schumann adored. The third movement includes much breeze and bluster, but the composer creates the opening of the fourth movement with gypsy flair. Here, the music conjures a quasi-folk dance, brimming with savvy rhythms and sparkling timbres, with tender dreams blended along the way.
Andrew Tyson, guest pianist
Hailed by BBC Radio 3 as “a real poet of the piano,” Tyson is emerging as a distinctive and important new musical voice. A 2013 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, Tyson returns to the U.K. this season, performing in chamber music concerts with the Halle Soloists in Leeds and Birmingham, giving solo recitals in Leeds and Manchester and appearing as soloist for the third time with the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester, Hanley and Blackburn.
Last season, Tyson gave his New York recital debut in the Rhoda Walker Teagle Concert at Merkin Hall and his Washington, D.C., debut at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater. As winner of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in 2011, Tyson was awarded YCA’s Paul A. Fish Memorial Prize and the John Browning Memorial Prize, as well as three performance prizes: the Brownville Concert Series, the Lied Center of Kansas and the Bronder Prize for Piano of Saint Vincent College.
Tyson made his orchestral debut at the age of 15 with the Guilford Symphony as winner of the Eastern Music Festival Competition. He attended the Curtis Institute of Music, where he worked with Claude Frank, and later earned his master’s degree and artist diploma at The Juilliard School with Robert McDonald.
For more information on the Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra and other events, visit www.breckenridgemusicfestival.com.