Bach. The Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue in D minor BWV 903
Brahms. Variations on a Theme by Paganini, Op. 35 (volume I, II)
Beethoven. “33 Variations on a waltz by Diabelli”, Op. 120
The acknowledged pianist and artistic director of the KLAVER festival Sten Lassmann presents a large-scale solo programme of masterpieces – all extremely demanding in their own right, marking the ultimate limit of musical depth and pianistic abilities.
The best-known example of improvisational keyboard fantasy of the Baroque era “The Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue” by Bach was in the concert repertoire of several great romantics (including Mendelssohn, Liszt and Brahms) and has always been the appreciated opening number of the piano recital.
The infamous “Variations on a Paganini Theme” is one of the most legendary works in piano literature. Consisting of two volumes, the masterpiece presents the most cunning sides of the pianist’s technical virtuosity and the performance of the piece (according to one critic) requires “the fingers of steel, heart as burning as lava, and the courage of a lion.”
The late compositions by Beethoven – his piano sonatas and string quartets, symphony No. 9, “Missa Solemnis “ and “Diabelli Variations”, took European music to unprecedented heigh level. “33 Variations on a Diabelli’s Waltz” is one of the most extensive works in piano repertoire, and during its duration of about an hour enables listeners to enter the musical microcosm of the most brilliant of composers.