Brilliant pianist to play at St Francis

Internationally-acclaimed pianist, Florian Uhlig, will provide a specially-selected programme of piano music on Thursday, 5 February, at St Francis.

Florian Uhlig (c) Marc Borggreve

The German-born pianist is visiting Johannesburg as Artistic Director of the Johannesburg International Mozart Festival, and has agreed to play a solo recital at St Francis. He will perform on a Yamaha grand piano, which is being kindly loaned to us for the occasion. Tickets for the concert are available from Louise Frahm-Arp at 083-275-7072, email: They are R150 each. Florian will perform a short programme of music from the Romantic era, including Robert Schumann’s “Kinderszenen”, a collection of 13 short pieces in which the composer remembers emotions and scenes from his childhood. They include “Traumerei” (Dreaming), probably one of the most well-known pieces in the piano repertoire. The second piece to be performed by Florian is Maurice Ravel’s “Miroirs”. Around 1900, Maurice Ravel joined a group of innovative young artists, poets, critics, and musicians referred to as Les Apaches or “hooligans”, a term coined by Ricardo Viñes to refer to his band of “artistic outcasts”. To pay tribute to his fellow artists, Ravel began composing Miroirs in 1904 and finished it the following year. Miroirs has five movements, each dedicated to a member of Les Apaches: 1.Noctuelles (“Night Moths”). Dedicated to Léon-Paul Fargue, Noctuelles is a highly chromatic work, maintaining a dark, nocturnal mood throughout. The middle section is calm with rich, chordal melodies, and the recapitulation takes place a fifth below the first entry. 2.Oiseaux tristes (“Sad Birds”). Dedicated to Ricardo Viñes, this movement represents a lone bird whistling a sad tune, after which others join in. The rambunctious middle section is offset by a solemn cadenza which brings back the melancholy mood of the beginning. 3.Une barque sur l’océan (“A Boat on the Ocean”). Dedicated to Paul Sordes, the piece recounts a boat as it sails upon the waves of the ocean. Arpeggiated sections and sweeping melodies imitate the flow of ocean currents. It is the longest piece of the set. 4.Alborada del gracioso (“Morning Song of the Jester”). Dedicated to Michel-Dimitri Calvocoressi, Alborada is a technically challenging piece that incorporates Spanish musical themes into its complicated melodies. 5.La vallée des cloches (“The Valley of Bells”). Dedicated to Maurice Delage, the piece evokes the sounds of various bells through its use of sonorous harmonies. The recital will end with two more pieces by Robert Schumann, viz two Novellettes, “Markiert under kraftig” and “Sehr lebhaft”.

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