Imogen Cooper CBE, one of the world’s most outstanding pianists is to perform in Sydney in August, as part of her first solo tour of Australia under the auspices of Music Viva.
Her Sydney programme includes Schubert’s Piano Sonata no 21 in B flat major, D960. Recently, Cooper completed a cycle of Schubert’s solo works at the Wigmore Hall; and in her second appearance at the 2013 Proms, she performed a Schubert recital in the Royal Albert Hall.
Much of the tour programme is inspired by the powerful musical and emotional kinship between Clara and Robert Schumann and their friend and protégé Johannes Brahms with a special focus on Clara’s prodigious talent as a pianist.
“The program will include Brahms’ Theme and Variations from the String Sextet, op 18, of which Brahms did an arrangement for Clara Schumann, because she loved it so much,” says Ms Cooper.
Cooper will present her own adaptation of this. She says “Strangely enough, Brahms simplified one or two things, or rather, he took out some, to me, absolutely salient harmonies or spacing chords. I can’t believe it was to protect Clara in any way, because she was a fabulous pianist. Maybe he just did it in a hurry. Anyway, I put them back; I hope he doesn’t mind. I think my version sounds better, if I may say so.”
Also on the program is Robert Schumann’s Davidsbündlertänze op 6 – a set of 18 pieces in which two alter egos, Florestan the extrovert and Eusebius the introvert, are represented in turn. Of Schubert’s piano sonata, his final one, Cooper says “ it stands out for its sheer lyricism. There’s very little ‘dark’ in it, if you consider how much ‘dark’, actually, there is in all his works. I don’t think he could have known that he was going to die.”
Robert SCHUMANN Novelletten op 21 no 2 in D major
Davidsbündlertänze op 6
Johannes BRAHMS Theme and Variations in D minor (arr. from String Sextet op 18)
Franz SCHUBERT Piano Sonata no 21 in B flat major, D960
To book, call 1800 688 482 or visit www.musicaviva.com.au/2014