When: 24 March 2020
Where: Royal Festival Hall
Stephen Hough’s recital explores the theme of death, an inexhaustible subject explored with exalted feeling by composers over the centuries. Bach’s Chaconne was supposedly written in memory of his first wife, while Busoni’s Berceuse acquired the subtitle ‘the man’s lullaby at his mother’s coffin’ when he orchestrated it. Chopin’s Funeral March sonata and Liszt’s Funérailles speak for themselves, and the fact that Liszt wrote Funérailles in the same month as his friend Chopin’s death may or may not have been a coincidence. Hough’s Sonata No.4 (Vida Breve) is an abstract and melancholic interpretation of life’s transience – here represented as a ‘sonata’ that ends sooner than expected. In Liszt’s two Mephisto Waltzes we face the Devil himself, leering out of the virtuosic passages. Hailed as one of the world’s 20 ‘living polymaths’ (The Economist) and ‘one of the greatest living pianists’ (The Sunday Times), Stephen Hough brings his unique brand of refinement and eclecticism to his annual London recital. Event link available below.