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Oxford Piano Festival: Elisabeth Leonskaja
July 27 @ 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm£10 – £25
3 Klavierstücke, D. 946
Sonata in A minor, D. 784
Fantasie in C major, D. 760, ‘Wanderer’
Of all the pianists who could be said to have a special relationship with Schubert, Elisabeth Leonskaja stands out, with recordings and performances of legendary distinction. Although born in Russia, she’s spent much of her long life in Vienna, absorbing the peculiar local heritage of melancholy she finds replicated in Schubert’s music. We’ll hear what that means in this programme, which starts with three of the Klavierstücke (D. 946) that the composer wrote in his last months of life: not widely known but hidden gems. They’re followed by Schubert’s Piano Sonata in A Minor, D. 784, described by Leonskaja as ‘sphinx-like’ in that it extracts apocalyptic power from restricted materials. Finally, there’s the ‘Wanderer’ Fantasie where Schubert assumes his grandest C Major manner – in four seamless movements which impose demands on the player that Schubert himself never managed to meet. Reportedly he gave up on the final fugue, saying (expletives unrecorded) ‘let the devil play this stuff’.
We look forward to welcoming Elisabeth Leonskaja to the Oxford Piano Festival. Please note that she will be travelling to join us from overseas, and her appearance will be dependent on travel restrictions at the time of the Festival.