2015 | September 25 & 26 7:30 p.m. | September 27 3:00 p.m.
St. Luke Evangelical Lutheran Church | Richmond, Virginia
admission: free-will donation
The 2015 Alexander Paley Music Festival begins Friday evening, September 25, with pianist Alexander Paley playing solo. Mr. Paley is world-renowned for his extensive repertoire, his technical prowess, and his passionate, convincing interpretations.
The Chopin études, which range expressively from thunderous to dreamy in mood, and from densely solid to prismatically wispy in texture, might have been written for a pianist of Paley’s technique and temperament. Each set seemed to burst forth under his hands – he barely paused for breath between numbers – with extraordinary urgency and unbridled spirit. “He plays Chopin like a god,” one listener said. — Clarke Bustard, former music reviewer for Richmond Times-Dispatch (link to full review)
Believe it? You can find out for yourself Friday at the Festival. There will be Chopin — and more rarely performed pieces by Nicolai Medtner, Pancho Vladigerov and George Enescu, as well as Schubert duets, in which Mr. Paley will be joined by pianist Pei-wen Chen.
Saturday evening will be … big. Last year’s Festival presented Rossini’s Barber of Seville in piano, 4-hands. This year we expand to 4 hands (on piano & organ), 4 solo vocalists and members of the Richmond Symphony Chorus for Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, the work’s first performance in Richmond for over 50 years. An opera in guise of a mass, Petite Messe Solennelle soars with fugues, clarion statements, lyrical melodies, and even a few typical Rossini crescendos.
Sunday afternoon offers three beloved chamber music works: Maurice Ravel’s Violin Sonata No. 2, Francis Poulenc’s Sonata for Clarinet and Piano in B-flat, Op. 138 FP 138, and Claude Debussy’s Violin Sonata in G minor, L 140. Another favorite in a fresh guise will send us home smiling: Camille Saint-Saéns’ Carnival of the Animals, for piano, 4-hands.
To listen to Mr. Paley playing Brahms, Two Hungarian Dances, from the 2009 Paley Music Festival, hit the play button at bottom right of this page. For Mr. Paley & Ms Chen playing four hands, visit our CONTACT page.