Blazing Technique

This episode originally aired on April 30, 2011

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

While Lady Gaga lights up performances with her fiery piano antics, classical virtuosos opt to light up their instruments with blazing technique. Masters such as Czerny, Chopin and Liszt paved the way for contemporary pianists by leaving behind their technically challenging yet artistically inspiring etudes. This week we hear fast finger work in compositions by Bach, Haydn, Liebermann and more.

One of the essential virtuosic instruments of our time, the piano opens the program, with Haydn's Sonata No. 55. Gilbert Kalish shows off his finger dexterity and gift for crisp articulation, ripping through Haydn's tricky scales and arpeggios. Alexandra Hawley and Jeffrey McFadden's performance of Liebermann's Sonata for Flute and Guitar dazzles listeners with their precision and panache.

The great Johann Sebastian Bach was known for his virtuosity and demanded nothing less from his performers. Glenn Gould soars through Bach's incessant Prelude and Fugue No. 3 in C Sharp Major.
 
Also on this week's blistering showcase are works by Bartok, Berio, Stravinsky and much more.
 
Let us know: what are your favorite virtuosic works?

Playlist:

Piano Sonata No. 55 in B-flat, Hob. XVI:41
Franz Joseph Haydn
Gilbert Kalish, piano
Nonesuch

Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat, Op. 19, movement 2
Ludwig van Beethoven
Bernard Haitink, conductor
The Piano Concertos | Appassionata
Andras Schiff, piano
Teldec

Kora Mali
Mamadou Diabate
Mamadou Diabate, kora
World Village

Sonata for Flute and Guitar, Op. 25
Lowell Liebermann
Alexandra Hawley, flute; Jeffrey McFadden, guitar
Naxos<

Etude pour Pianola
Igor Stravinsky
player piano
MDG

Well Tempered Clavier, Book 1: Prelude and Fugue No. 3 in C# Major, BWV 848
Johann Sebastian Bach
Glenn Gould, piano
CBS/Sony

Feuerklavier (Fire-piano) (1989)
Luciano Berio
David Arden, piano
New Albion

Duos Pour 2 Violins Sz.98
Bela Bartok
Laurent Korcia, violin; Nemanja Radulovic, violin
Astree

Tatum Pole Boogie
Art Tatum
Art Tatum, piano
CBS/Sony

Double Bass Concerto in D

Edgar Meyer
St. Paul Chamber Orchestra
Edgar Meyer, double bass
CBS/Sony

Five for Ten Small Fingers
Dave Brubeck
John Salmon, piano
Naxos

Moto perpetuo,  Op. 5/4
Ottokar Novacek
Itzhak Perlman, violin; Samuel Sanders, piano

Detto II

Sofia Gubaidulina
Chamber Ensemble
Yuri Nikolaevsky, conductor
Ivan Monighetti, cello
BMG

"Keep In Touch"
Nico Muhly
Nadia Sirota, viola; Antony, vocals; Kyle Covington, trombone
Bedroom Community

Jazz Etudes

Erwin Schulhoff
James Tocco, piano
ECM

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