The Friends of Chamber Music present Italian pianist Fabio Bidini in concert on Saturday, March 10 at 7:30 PM in the C. Stephen Metzler Hall at the Folly Theater. Bidini’s program tells stories and invokes timeless characters that will spark the imaginations of all who listen. We hope you will join us for this wonderful performance.
Mr. Bidini began his piano studies at the age of five. He graduated magna cum laude from the Cecilia Conservatory in Rome and studied composition at the Florence Conservatory. He has been awarded first prize in eleven of Italy’s most prestigious national piano competitions and has been the recipient of the top prizes awarded in eight international competitions: Terni, Köln, Busoni 1988 and 1992, Pretoria, Marsala, London, and the Van Cliburn Competition in Fort Worth. Texas. He made his North American debut in 1993 with the Atlanta Symphony, and we recently heard him in Kansas City with the Trio Solisti in November 2017.
The program opens with Beethoven’s famous Sonata No. 21 in C Major, Op. 53 “Waldstein,” named for and dedicated to Count Waldstein, who was one of Beethoven’s most influential friends. Beethoven met the Count in 1788 (when Beethoven was just 18 years old), and the Count immediately recognized Beethoven’s talent.
Chopin’s Scherzo No. 2 in B-flat minor was dedicated to Countess Adèle Fürstenstein, who was one of Chopin’s students. Robert Schumann also wrote a review of the work comparing it to Byron’s poetry and saying that the scherzo was “so overflowing with tenderness, boldness, love and contempt.” Chopin’s other scherzos are not quite as light-hearted and humorous as this one.
The Andante spianato et grande polonaise in E-flat Major, Op. 22 showcases Chopin’s ability to compose long, lyrical passages and vortexes of virtuosity. The word “spianato” means “evenly, without contrasts, without any great agitation or anxiety” in Italian. A “Polonaise” is a slow Polish dance, consisting of an intricate march or procession.
Both of the Beethoven Sonatas on this program came from the same “middle period” in Beethoven’s life and are considered to be two of his most famous middle period works. No. 23 “Appassionata” was dedicated to Count Franz von Brunswick and is considered to be one of Beethoven’s most technically demanding and turbulent works.