FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2020
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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 riddle—and 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!