Two more Recital Ideas

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Two more Recital Ideas

Post by StephanW »

Hello everyone,
(warning - LONG post!)
This next year is going to be a busy one for me in terms of performing. I'm planning at least two solo recitals, one in the Spring and another in the Autumn. I will also be performing my father's newly finished flute sonata, and (hopefully) Haydn's Piano Concerto in D Major with an amateur chamber orchestra, as well as some other smaller performances throughout the year.

So, with that in mind, I have decided what I'm going to do for my Spring recital - The Music of Muzio Clementi - an all Clementi recital. This makes sense to me few several reasons, but mostly because I love Clementi, and I will be performing it at the place where I teach piano. I think it would good for my students to hear some of the better Clementi works. It seems that Clementi is a composer whom many students love to hate, and unjustly so. True, his worst is pretty bad, but his best is absolutely wonderful.

I was thinking that this would be a good program:
4 Musical Characteristics, Op. 19
2 Preludios alla Haydn – 2 Preludios alla Mozart
From Gradus ad Parnassum, Op. 44 [there is a wonderful recording of Gradus ad Parnassum by Danielle Laval, available on YouTube]
Suite in F [this is the first suite of the work, the first four etudes]
Con velocitá – Allegrissimo – Vivacissimo – Allegro ma con grazia
Suite in B
Andante con moto, ma cantabile – Presto – Fugato: Allegro non troppo – Allegretto – Finale: Allegro vivace [the second to last suite, etudes 88-92]
Toccata in B-flat Major, Op. 11


Sonatina in F Major, Op. 36, No. 4 [I just have to play this one - it's my favorite Clementi work - unlike some students, I have always loved the sonatinas]
I. Allegro con spirito
II. Andante con espressione
III. Rondo: Allegro vivace
Sonata in F-sharp Minor, Op. 26, No. 2 [a favorite of Beethoven]
I. Allegro con espressione
II. Lento e patetico
III. Presto
Sonata in B-flat Major, Op. 24, No. 2 [Mozart took the opening motif of this sonata for his overture to The Magic Flute]
I. Allegro con brio
II. Andante quasi Allegretto
III. Rondo: Allegro assai

What do you all think of this program? Too long and boring? Just right? Is there a great work that I should add? I purposely tried to select from a diverse range of his works, not just sonatas. Although, if I were strictly selecting from Clementi's best works, it would probably just be sonatas. One more thing - I'm planning on doing this as a lecture recital, so I'll just say a few things about each piece beforehand. That will add a little time to the program. With just the recital pieces, the program will be about (or a little over) 30 minutes per half.

Now, shifting gears significantly. For my Fall recital, I'm thinking of something a little, actually a lot more ambitious. This isn't set in stone, in fact I might not end up doing it at all, at least not in 2023. This is what I'm thinking for the program:

From Violin Partita in E Major, BWV 1006............J. S. Bach [8"]
I. Prelude transcr. Sergey Rachmaninoff
III. Gavotte
VII. Gigue
Sonata No. 30 in E Major, Opus 109................L. van Beethoven [20"]
I. Vivace ma non troppo. Adagio espressivo
II. Prestissimo
III. Andante molto cantabile ed espressivo


From Forgotten Melodies, Opus 38.......................N. Medtner [24"]
I. Sonata Reminiscenza
VI. Canzona Serenata
VIII. Alla Reminiscenza. Quasi coda
Three Preludes...............................................S. Rachmaninoff [15"]
No. 1 in C-sharp Minor, Opus 3, No. 2
No. 5 in D Major, Opus 23, No. 4
No. 24 in D-flat Major, Opus 32, No. 13

Two main questions: 1.) Would this program be too emotionally dense, for lack of a better term? I think the second half has some of the most profound and beautiful works written for piano, and in the first half - at least the Beethoven sonata is on that level too. 2.) Is it too long? Of course, this times in brackets are approximate, they could be shorter or longer. But would you want to go to a recital that long? I'm not really sure what is common in terms of piano recital length, since I've never been to one (pitiable, I know) except my own, which have generally been under an hour.

Before I added up the time, I was even contemplating adding Rachmaninoff's Prelude No. 21 in B Minor ("The Return") to the mix (either immediately before or after the D Major prelude), but now I'm pretty sure that wouldn't be practical. I could replace the D Major prelude with the B Minor, I suppose. I really want to keep both the C-sharp Minor and the D-flat Major, just because of how interconnected they are (same tonal center, first and last preludes, same opening motif but inverted with different rhythm, etc.). Also, the D-flat Major prelude is a stunning work to close the recital - one of the most profound things Rachmaninoff wrote, so emotionally powerful.

Any thoughts you have on one or both of these programs would be greatly appreciated!
YouTube channel (my piano recordings): ... eNLRKALzMA
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