On the Vine – July 2014 – Imogen Cooper
The start of the 19th century was an extraordinarily prolific period in Western music. Beethoven was reaching his productive peak while, in the background, Schubert was discovering ever deeper substance within the language of diatonic harmony. Schumann and Brahms quickly followed Schubert’s path, leading to the primacy of the Romantic impulse in European music.
This epoch resonates profoundly with celebrated British pianist Imogen Cooper, who has compiled a brilliant program exploring these compositional connections for this, her first, recital tour of Australia. Although widely acclaimed as a concerto soloist and chamber musician, she is probably most renowned for her recordings of solo piano music by Schubert and Schumann, making this tour an opportunity, unique in this country, to see this singularly talented performer in her favourite guise.
Schumann’s charming Novellette (op 21 no 2) joins his brilliant Davidsbündlertänze as an intense homage to that composer filling the first half. The second half opens with a musical oddity: Brahms’ arrangement for solo piano of the Theme and Variations from his own first string sextet. Brahms created this especially for the masterful pianist Clara Schumann, who was deeply enamoured of the sextet, so filling out the circle that joins these three composers in historical unity. Schubert’s massive B flat major sonata brings the concert to a fitting close.
For more information on Imogen Cooper, and to book your tickets, please visit; www.musicaviva.com.au/cooper