Rustam Khanmurzin at St John’s Smith Square: Music of Love

A programme of carefully selected piano masterpieces exploring the most exciting feelings: from innocent and flirtatious to cosmic and sacrificial.

Thu 8 June – 1.05pm
Duration: 55 minutes (no interval)
St John’s Smith Square,
London, SW1P 3HA

In the apocalyptic climax of Liebestod, Isolde pledges ‘in the universal stream of the world-breath to drown unconscious’, which echoes with the sensual and ecstatic world of Scriabin’s Fantasy in B minor. It contrasts with picturesque and floral E major Sonata by Beethoven, described by Romain Rolland as a ‘play of dream and love’. It’s hard to believe that this Sonata belongs to the latter stage of his life. By the time Beethoven composed this work, his output had declined substantially, perhaps owing to his deafness and disappointments in life. On the surface, the music has a serene, almost angelic quality, but, like many other works written during this period, the composition’s surface is merely one dimension among many. The famous Theme of Variations is beautiful, in style looking toward the Romantic movement that was then in its infancy. It is tranquil yet melancholy, pleased but valedictory. While the ending suggests a certain peaceful resolution of life’s struggles and conflicts, it also reveals a feeling of resignation which is free of worries and fear.

Wagner/Liszt – Liebestod
Beethoven – Piano Sonata in E major, Op.109
Scriabin – Fantasy in B minor, Op.28
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