Concerts from the Library of Congress, 2019-2020


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Download Program (PDF, 1.55MB)
(Re)Hearing Beethoven Festival program

Adam Golka. Photo credit: Jürgen Frank

Verona String Quartet. Photo credit: Kaupo Kikkas


Sonata in B-flat major, “Hammerklavier,” op. 106


Sonata in B-flat major, “Hammerklavier,” op. 106, transcribed for string quartet

Adam Golka, piano
Verona String Quartet
Jonathan Ong and Dorothy Ro, violins
Abigail Rojansky, viola  |  Annie Jacobs-Perkins, guest cello

Pianist Adam Golka and the Verona Quartet present an intensive focus on Beethoven’s Hammerklavier sonata: two visions of the work in back-to-back performances, with David Plylar’s transcription for string quartet followed by the composer’s original version for piano. Reviewing Franz Liszt’s 1836 likely premiere of the sonata nearly a decade after Beethoven’s death, Hector Berlioz called it “a sublime poem that until this day was but the riddle of the sphinx for nearly all pianists.” Massive in scale, extraordinary in concept and design, the sonata still provides formidable challenges not only for players but for listeners, carrying harmonic and formal innovations that remain astonishing for modern audiences. Through the revelatory medium of transcription, refracting musical ideas through a prism of new timbres and techniques, our concert offers an immersive experience of the Hammerklavier—perhaps still a riddleand illuminates a transcendant masterwork.

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Explore Beethoven in the Library's collection with our new resource:
Beethoven: A Guide to Primary and Secondary Resources at the Library of Congress

This concert is part of our (Re)Hearing Beethoven Festival. Be sure to check out the full range of events!


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Conversation with Verona Quartet

Conversation with Adam Golka

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Manuscript Sketches: “Hammerklavier Sonata”
at the Library of Congress

All events for the 2020-2021 season of Concerts from the Library of Congress will be presented virtually.