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Fall 2021 Concert Program

Michael Arnowitt, piano

J.S. Bach
Selections from the 3-Part Sinfonias
F major, E minor, A major, D minor, G major, D major

Johannes Brahms
Variations on a Theme by Haydn, transcribed for piano by Michael Arnowitt

Gyorgy Ligeti
Selected Études for piano from Book 1 (1985) and Book 2 (1988-1994)
Étude no. 2, Cordes à vide (Open strings)
Étude no. 5, Arc-en-ciel (Rainbow)
Étude no. 10, Der Zauberlehrling (The sorcerer’s apprentice)

Alberto Ginastera
Finale (Ruvido ed ostinato) from Piano Sonata no. 1, opus 22 (1952)

Program description

The program opens with a half-dozen of Bach’s miniature 3-Part Sinfonias, companion pieces in 3-part counterpoint to Bach’s more familiar 2-Part Inventions. The major work on the program is Brahms’ Variations on a Theme by Haydn, transcribed for piano from the original orchestral version by Michael Arnowitt. Based on a cheerful melody known as the St. Antoni Chorale, the wide-ranging adventures Brahms takes us on makes this his greatest composition in the theme and variations form. The Hungarian-born composer Gyorgy Ligeti, in the final decades of his life, wrote three books of piano etudes Michael Arnowitt regards as the best piano pieces of the last fifty years. He will perform Open strings, Rainbow, and The sorcerer’s apprentice, showcasing the amazing imagination and creativity of these pieces full of beautiful new piano sounds and textures. The program closes with the rousing finale of Alberto Ginastera’s dynamic Piano Sonata no. 1, based on folk music influences from the pampas region of Ginastera’s native Argentina. Altogether, this program of lively, colorful music should make for a congenial time together enjoyable to all.