Ukrainian classical pianist Anna Fedorova plays pieces from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Frédéric Chopin, Robert Schumann and Sergei Rachmaninoff. Recorded on December 8, 2016 at the Het Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Published by the AVROTROS Klassiek.
With the starting times in the video:
- Mozart: Fantasia No. 3 in D minor, K. 397/385g – 0:00
- Chopin: Ballade No. 3, op. 47 – 6:03
- Schumann: Fantasie in C, op. 17, Mov. 1 – 14:00
- Rachmaninoff: Prelude op. 32, no. 5 – 27:41
- Rachmaninoff: Prelude op. 23, no. 2 – 30:49
Fantasia No. 3 (Mozart)
Fantasia No. 3 in D minor, K. 397/385g (Fantasy in English, Fantasie in German) is a piece of music for solo piano composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1782. Despite being unfinished at Mozart’s death, the piece is nonetheless one of his more popular compositions for the piano.
The Fantasia runs to just over 100 measures, in a single multi-tempo movement marked Andante – Adagio – Presto – Tempo primo – Presto – Tempo primo – Allegretto. The original manuscript has not survived and the final measures of the piece have been lost or were never completed by Mozart. The ending as it currently exists (last 10 measures) is believed to have been written by the German composer, organist and choir leader August Eberhard Müller (13 December 1767, Northeim – 3 December 1817, Weimar), one of the composer’s admirers.
Ballade no. 3, op. 47 (Chopin)
Ballade No. 3 in A-flat major, Op. 47, dating from 1841, is dedicated to Pauline de Noailles. The inspiration for this Ballade is usually claimed to be Adam Mickiewicz’s poem Undine, also known as Świtezianka. Adam Bernard Mickiewicz (24 December 1798, Zaosie, Lithuania Governorate, Russian Empire – 26 November 1855, Istanbul, Ottoman Empire) was a Polish poet, dramatist, essayist, publicist, translator, professor of Slavic literature, and political activist. There are structural similarities with the “Raindrop Prelude” which was inspired by the weather in Majorca during Chopin’s disastrous vacation with George Sand. These include a repetitive A-flat which modulates into a G-sharp during the C-sharp minor section.
The form of this Ballade is an arch: ABCBA coda. The first A theme is in two parts; the first part is song-like and the second is dance-like. Out of the four ballades, the third Ballade has the tightest structure. This Ballade also uses development procedures that are successful at heightening the tension.
The Ballade opens with a lengthy introduction marked dolce (sweet). The introduction is thematically unrelated to a majority of the piece but is repeated at the close and climax of the work. Following the introduction, Chopin introduces new theme in a section with the performance direction mezza voce; this theme consists of repeated Cs in two broken octaves in the right hand. This theme reoccurs three different times in the ballade, twice on C and once on A-flat. The “mezza voce” section soon develops into a furious F minor chordal section and once again returns to A-flat. The ‘mezza voce’ section is repeated, following by a new theme consisting of right hand sixteenth-note leggiero runs. The following return of the broken octave theme is transposed from C to A-flat (the repeated Cs now being A-flats). The key signature then shifts to C-sharp minor. The original “B” theme is then developed, this time using rapid, chromatic left-hand runs in the left hand under large chords in the right. This theme builds to a climax through rapid repetition of broken G-sharp octaves (referencing the “mezza voce” theme) with fragments of the “B” theme in the left hand. A retransition occurs as the dynamic builds from piano to forte. The figuration in the left hand is chromatic and consists of spans frequently larger than an octave. The key signature then shifts back to A-flat major. In the final section of the arch, the “A” theme from the introduction is repeated again in octaves. The ballade ends with a reprise of the A-flat leggiero runs and a second right hand arpeggio. Four chords provide closure to the piece.
Preludes, Op. 32 (Rachmaninoff)
Thirteen Preludes, Op. 32, is a set of thirteen preludes for solo piano, composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff in 1910.
Fantasie in C (Schumann)
The Fantasie in C major, Op. 17, was written by Robert Schumann in 1836. It was revised prior to publication in 1839, when it was dedicated to Franz Liszt. It is generally described as one of Schumann’s greatest works for solo piano, and is one of the central works of the early Romantic period. It is often called by the Italian version, Fantasia; the word “Fantasie” is the German spelling.
The Fantasie is in loose sonata form. The piece is in three movements:
- Durchaus fantastisch und leidenschaftlich vorzutragen; Im Legenden-Ton
- Mäßig. Durchaus energisch
- Langsam getragen. Durchweg leise zu halten.
The first movement is rhapsodic and passionate; the middle movement (in E-flat major) is a grandiose rondo based on a majestic march, with episodes that recall the emotion of the first movement; and the finale is slow and meditative.