Senior Piano Recital: Bach, Beethoven and Chopin
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This senior piano recital features three significant works for solo piano: Johann Sebastian Bach’s English Suite No. 2, in A Minor; Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 17, “Tempest”; and Frederic Chopin’s Ballade No. 3 in A-Flat Major. These three composers were among the greatest of their respective eras: Bach in the late Baroque, Beethoven at the end of the Classical Period, and Chopin in the Romantic Era. These particular works were groundbreaking achievements within their respective forms. Bach took the dance suite, a popular Baroque form, and composed innovative, exciting music. Beethoven wrote the “Tempest” Sonata when he decided to take his music, and the sonata form itself, on a “new path.”1 Chopin created an entirely new form with his ballades, and many other Romantic composers such as Liszt and Brahms followed his lead and composed ballades of their own. There are many differences between the works, as they come from different composers and different eras. They all, however, are marked with a sense of drama and excitement; they are all centerpieces of the piano repertory. In these notes, we will look at each of the works. We will outline the structure of each work and discuss how it fits into its historical context.
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