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Debussy: Complete Piano Music — Recitals 15-16 December 2012

At the invitation of Dr. Thomas Zirkle, I performed Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas at Saint Louis Community College-Forest Park during December 2011. He invited me to perform another marathon concert series this month, and I’ve decided to continue our tradition by presenting the complete solo piano works of the masterful French composer Claude Debussy (1862-1918), in recognition of the 150th anniversary of his birth, on the weekend of December 15-16, 2012. All four of these Debussy recitals, which will take place in the Mildred E. Bastian Performing Arts Center (located here), are free and open to the public. The concerts will begin at the following times:

  • Saturday, December 15, at 12:00 noon
  • Saturday, December 15, at 3:00 pm
  • Sunday, December 16, at 12:00 noon
  • Sunday, December 16, at 3:00 pm

Detailed program information is listed below:

Claude Debussy (1862-1918): The Complete Works for Solo Piano

Peter Henderson, piano

Mildred E. Bastian Performing Arts Center

at St. Louis Community College, Forest Park

December 15-16, 2012

Recital 1 — Saturday, December 15, 2012, 12:00 noon

Danse bohémienne (Bohemian Dance), L (Lesure catalog number) 9; Composed: 1880 / First published: 1932

Deux arabesques (Two Arabesques), L 66; 1888-1891 / 1891

1. Andantino con moto

2. Allegretto scherzando

Mazurka (Mazurka), L 67; 1890? / 1904

Rêverie (Reverie), L 68; 1890 / 1891

Tarantelle styrienne (Styrian Tarantella) [Later published as Danse pour piano (Dance for Piano)], L 69; 1890 / 1891, 1903

Ballade slave (Slavic Ballade) [Later published as Ballade (Ballade)], L 70; 1890 / 1891, 1903

Valse romantique (Romantic Waltz), L 71; 1890 / 1890

Suite bergamasque (Suite Bergamasque), L 75; 1890 (revised 1905) / 1905

1. Prélude (Prelude)

2. Menuet (Minuet)

3. Clair de lune (Moonlight)

4. Passepied (Passepied)

Intermission (ten minutes)

Nocturne (Nocturne), L 82; 1892 / 1892

Images [published as Images oubliées (Forgotten Pictures)], L 87; 1894 / 1977

1. Lent (Slow)

2. «Souvenir du Louvre»: Sarabande (“Remembrance of the Louvre”: Sarabande)

3. Quelques aspects de «Nour n’irons plus au bois» parce qu’il fait un temps insupportable (Several Angles on “We’ll Go to the Woods No More” Because the Weather Is So Awful)

Pour le piano (For the Piano), L 95; 1894-1901 / 1901

1. Prélude (Prelude)

2. Sarabande (Sarabande)

3. Toccata (Toccata)

Recital 2 — Saturday, December 15, 2012, 3:00 pm

D’un cahier d’esquisses (From a Sketchbook), L (Lesure catalog number) 99; Composed: 1903 / First published: 1904

Estampes (Prints), L 100; 1903 / 1903

1. Pagodes (Pagodas)

2. La soirée dans Grenade (Evening in Grenada)

3. Jardins sous la pluie (Gardens in the Rain)

Masques (Masks or Maskers), L 105; 1904 / 1904

L’isle joyeuse (The Joyful Island), L 106; 1904 / 1904

Morceau de Concours; Pièce pour piano (Piano Piece for a 1904 / 1905 Composer Identification Contest), L 109; 1904 / 1905

Images, Série I (Pictures, Set I), L 110; 1904-1905 / 1905

1. Reflets dans l’eau (Reflections in the Water)

2. Hommage à Rameau (Homage to Rameau)

3. Mouvement (Movement)

Intermission (ten minutes)

Images, Série II (Pictures, Set II), L 111; 1907 / 1908

1. Cloches à travers les feuilles (Bells through the Leaves)

2. Et la lune descend sur le temple qui fût (And the Moon Sets over the Temple that Was)

3. Poissons d’or (Goldfish)

Children’s Corner (original English title), L 113; 1906-1908 / 1908

1. Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum

2. Jimbo’s Lullaby [Jumbo’s Lullaby was the intended title]

3. Serenade for the Doll

4. The Snow Is Dancing

5. The Little Shepherd

6. Golliwogg’s Cakewalk

Le petit nègre (Cakewalk), L 114; 1909 / 1909

Recital 3 — Sunday, December 16, 2012, 12:00 noon

Hommage à Haydn (Homage to Joseph Haydn), L (Lesure catalog number) 115; Composed: 1909 / First published: 1910

Préludes, Livre I (Preludes, Book I), L 117; 1909-1910 / 1910

1. Danseuses de Delphes (Delphic Dancers)

2. Voiles (Veils or Sails)

3. Le vent dans la plaine (The Wind on the Plain)

4. «Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l’air du soir» (“Sounds and fragrances swirl through the evening air”)

5. Les collines d’Anacapri (The Hills of Anacapri)

6. Des pas sur la neige (Footsteps in the Snow)

7. Ce qu’a vu le vent d’ouest (What the West Wind Saw)

8. La fille aux cheveux de lin (The Girl with the Flaxen Hair)

9. La sérénade interrompue (The Interrupted Serenade)

10. La cathédrale engloutie (The Submerged Cathedral)

11. La danse de Puck (Puck’s Dance)

12. Minstrels (Minstrels)

Intermission (ten minutes)

La plus que lente: Valse (The Even Slower Waltz), L 121; 1910 / 1910

Préludes, Livre II (Preludes, Book II), L 123; 1911-1913 / 1913

1. Brouillards (Mists)

2. Feuilles mortes (Dead Leaves)

3. La Puerta del Vino (The Wine Gate)

4. «Les fées sont d’exquises danseuses» (“Fairies are exquisite dancers”)

5. Bruyères (Heather)

6. Général Lavine—excentric (General Lavine—eccentric)

7. La terrasse des audiences du clair de lune (The Terrace for Moonlit Audiences)

8. Ondine (Water Nymph)

9. Hommage à S. Pickwick Esq. P.P.M.P.C. (Homage to Samuel Pickwick [the titular character from Charles Dickens’s novel The Pickwick Papers])

10. Canope (Canopic Urn)

11. Les tierces alternées (Alternating Thirds)

12. Feux d’artifice (Fireworks)

Recital 4 — Sunday, December 16, 2012, 3:00 pm

Six épigraphes antiques (Six Antique Epigraphs) for solo piano or piano duet, L (Lesure catalog number) 131; Composed: 1914 / First published: 1915

1. Pour invoquer Pan, dieu du vent d’été (For Invoking Pan, God of the Summer Wind)

2. Pour un tombeau sans nom (For a Nameless Tomb)

3. Pour que la nuit soit propice (So That the Night May Be Propitious)

4. Pour la danseuse aux crotales (For the Dancer with Bells)

5. Pour l’égyptienne (For the Egyptian)

6. Pour remercier la pluie au matin (For Thanking the Morning Rain)

Bérceuse héroïque pour rendre hommage à S.M. le Roi Albert I de Belgique et à ses soldats (Berceuse in Homage to King Albert I of Belgium and His Soldiers), L 132; 1914 / 1915

Pièce pour «Le Vêtement du blessé» (Little Waltz for the WWI Relief Organization “The Dressing of the Wounded”) [Later published as Page d’album (Page from an Album)], L 133; 1915 / 1933

Étude retrouvée (Rediscovered Study) [A first version of 11. Pour les arpèges composées from Douze études, Livre II] (Edited/reconstructed by Roy Howat; work not listed in Lesure’s catalog); 1915 / 1980

Douze études (Twelve Studies), L 136; 1915 / 1916

Livre I (Book I):

1. Pour les cinq doigts—d’après Monsieur Czerny (For the Five Fingers—After the Manner of Carl Czerny)

2. Pour les tierces (For Thirds)

3. Pour les quartes (For Fourths)

4. Pour les sixtes (For Sixths)

5. Pour les octaves (For Octaves)

6. Pour les huit doigts (For the Eight Fingers [Omitting the Thumbs])

Intermission (ten minutes)

Livre II (Book II):

7. Pour les degrés chromatiques (For Chromatic Pitches)

8. Pour les agréments (For Ornaments or Embellishments)

9. Pour les notes répétées (For Repeated Notes)

10. Pour les sonoritées opposées (For Contrasting Sonorities)

11. Pour les arpèges composéess (For Compound Arpeggios)

12. Pour les accords (For Chords)

Élégie (Elegy), L 138; 1915 / 1916

Les soirs illuminés par l’ardeur du charbon (Evenings Lit by Burning Coals); 1917 / 2004

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Last two Beethoven recitals, 2011-12

During the 2011-12 season and academic year, Peter Henderson has been performing Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas. From December 15-18, 2011, he played them at St. Louis Community College-Forest Park in an intensive format (http://www.stlcc.edu/Newsroom/2011/12/News19.html — site no longer available). He has also been presenting them in a series at Maryville University; the final concert in this series, featuring the Sonatas opp. 109, 110 and 111, will take place on Tuesday, April 17, 2012, at 7:00 pm, in the Maryville University Auditorium; admission is free. Directions to Maryville are available here.

The concluding concert of this Beethoven project is on the Sheldon Concert Hall’s 2011-12 Classics series (http://www.sheldonconcerthall.org/showdetail.asp?showID=366 — site no longer available), and will feature a performance of at least three Beethoven sonatas as chosen by the audience—one at the event. This concert will take place on Wednesday, April 25, 2012, at 8:00 pm, in the Sheldon Concert Hall; tickets available via the Sheldon’s website.