Ludwig van Beethoven. The Complete Piano Sonata Cycle. Concert 4
The Three Palaces 2023
Maria Elena Farrugia - Pianist Francis Camilleri - Pianist Caroline Calleja - Pianist RECITAL FOUR (Opus 31, 53)
Op.31 no.1 Piano Sonata No. 16 in G major Maria Elena Farrugia
I. Allegro vivace – II. Adagio grazioso – III. Allegretto
Op.31 no.2 Piano Sonata No. 17 in D minor (Tempest) Francis Camilleri
I. Largo; Allegro – II. Adagio – III. Allegretto
– LONG INTERVAL – (with drinks and canapés reception)
Op.31 no.3 Piano Sonata No. 18 in E-flat major (The Hunt) Francis Camilleri
I. Allegro – II. Scherzo: Allegretto vivace – III. Menuetto: Moderato e grazioso – IV. Presto con fuoco
– SHORT INTERVAL – (with wine bar)
Op.53 Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major (Waldstein) Caroline Calleja
I. Allegro con brio – II. Introduzione: Adagio molto; III. Rondo: Allegretto moderato; Prestissimo
Considered by many pianists and critics as the New Testament of piano literature, the Old Testament being J.S.Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, Beethoven’s thirty-two sonatas span most of his creative period, starting from the three sonatas Op. 2 composed in 1795 and dedicated to his teacher Joseph Haydn and going right up to his last monumental C minor Sonata Op. 111, composed in 1822 during his so-called third compositional period. Since Beethoven composed piano sonatas uninterruptedly throughout this period, by listening to the sonatas in chronological order one can have an almost complete overview of his development as a composer. The first group of thirteen works display various facets of the classical style, with the piano writing influenced by Haydn, Mozart, and Clementi. This group concludes with Op.22 (1800), with which Beethoven says adieu to the classical style. The middle period sonatas, ranging from Op. 26 (1801) to Op. 90 (1814), display the composer continuously experimenting with form, harmony, and piano writing, including innovative uses of the sustain pedal. In the last five sonatas, from Op. 101 (1816) to Op. 111 (1822), there is a much greater use of counterpoint – in fact two of the sonatas, Op. 106 and Op. 110, end with fugues – and explore the newly-expanded register of the piano to the full. Each one of these last works has its own particular form, which develops naturally more from the musical content than from any pre-established forms.
The first pianist to perform and record the complete cycle of sonatas was Artur Schnabel in 1935. He was followed by several pianists whose recorded cycles became legendary, most notably Wilhelm Kempff, Wilhelm Backhaus, Yves Nat, Claudio Arrau and, more recently, Daniel Barenboim and András Schiff. Maria-Elena Farrugia Maria-Elena Farrugia is an established and highly sought-after Maltese pianist. She has recently been engaged by Joseph Calleja to accompany him in Andorra la Vella "L'Elixir de l’Òpera”, Arte’s Europe@Home, and the Met Opera At-Home Gala. She has participated in and won many local and international competitions. In 2003, she won the EPTA (Malta) Competition which enabled her to attend lessons at the Liszt Academy in Budapest with one of the jury, Profs. Balazs Szokolay. She has also won 1st prize in the 12th Gianluca Campochiaro Competition (Pedara, Sicily), 6th Young Musicians Contest of the Malta Society of Arts, Manufacturing and Commerce, and in the Bice Mizzi Vassallo Music Competition, resulting in a week of Masterclasses at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester tutored by acclaimed pianist, Norma Fisher. In Manchester she performed as a soloist and with several duo and chamber ensembles, including Philetas Piano Trio. She is highly sought after for engagements in Gozo, Malta and the UK, where she works with multiple professional artists including Joseph Calleja, at the Presidential Palace, the Manoel Theatre, and in the Malta International Arts Festival Masterclasses, tutored by internationally acclaimed pianists Y. Didenko, V. Scherbakov, A. Zenziper, C. Traxler and A. Zolotarev. Maria-Elena holds a Masters of Music in Piano Performance from RNCM, where she studied with Prof. Sally Ann MacLeod, a PGCE and First Class Honours in her Bachelor of Music from University of Malta, where she studied with Prof. Michael Laus. Maria-Elena also dabbles in contemporary music genres with various local ensembles, and is currently a full-time music teacher and staff pianist at the Malta school of Music. Francis Camilleri Francis Camilleri formally commenced his pianoforte studies with Lucia Micallef and continued his tuition with Karen Briscoe, obtaining his Licentiate from the Royal Schools of Music with distinction. He also took regular lessons with Vanessa Latarche at the Royal College of Music, London. Francis graduated from the University of Malta with a master’s in music in pianoforte performance under the tuition of Michael Laus, and has participated in master classes led by John Lill, Mikhail Pethukov, and Young-Choon Park, amongst others. Francis was coached in harmony and counterpoint by Joseph Vella, Malta’s leading composer. He has performed in the most important venues in Malta and in prestigious festivals including the Victoria International Arts Festival, Valletta Baroque Festival, Three Palaces Festival, amongst others. Francis currently teaches at the Visual and Performing Arts School and is a member of the Laudate Pueri Choir and the Victoria International Arts Festival. Caroline Calleja Having performed extensively in Malta, around Europe and in Washington (USA), Caroline Calleja is highly regarded as one of Malta's finest soloists and chamber musicians both as a pianist and harpist. She was the first-prize winner of various competitions and is a Licenciate of the Royal Schools of Music and of the Trinity College of Music. In 1999 Calleja obtained the Médaille d’Or in piano performance and Diplôme de Fins d’Études with distinction in harp performance from the Conservatoire National de Region de Lyon in France. She subsequently graduated Bachelor of Arts (Honours) First Class in Music Studies and Master of Music degrees from the University of Malta where she majored in Piano Performance. Following her solo debut with the National Orchestra of Malta in 2000, Calleja performed numerous other times as soloist with the same orchestra. She also performed in chamber formations with internationally-acclaimed artistes as well as solo recitals. Calleja has recorded and regularly performs works by Maltese composers, including various world premieres, both locally and abroad. Calleja was the principal harpist of the National Orchestra of Malta between 1998 and 2008 and still performs with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra. She currently teaches harp at the Malta School of Music.