Eastern Oregon University Department of Music College of Arts and Sciences presents: Matt Cooper Faculty Piano Recital Friday, Jan. 13, 7:30 p.m. Groth Recital Hall “IMPROMPTUS AND FANTASIES”Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 903 J.S. Bach (1685-1750)Fifteen Improvisations Francis Poulenc (1899-1963) No. 3 in B minor No. 13 in A minor No. 7 in C Major No. 15 in C Minor (Hommage à Édith Piaf)Six Variations in D Major, Op. 76 Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) IntermissionImpromptu in F Minor, Op. 142 No. 1 Franz Schubert (1797-1828)Impromptu No. 3 in Ab Major, Op. 34 Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924)Reflets dans l’eau (Reflections in the Water) Claude Debussy (1862-1918) From Images, Set One (1905)L’Isle joyeuse (1904)Bach’s Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue dates from the early 1720s, during the periodwhen he lived in Köthen, and was originally written for the harpsichord. The Fantasiaopens with a brilliant toccata-like section, follows with a long series of arpeggiatedchords, and closes with an emotional recitative. The substantial Fugue is built on asprawling fugal subject which, like the Fantasia, uses many half-steps (hence,“chromatic”).Francis Poulenc’s music is eclectic, being influenced by Impressionist composers such asDebussy as well as the music of the French cabaret. Poulenc recalled growing uplistening to the “adorable bad music” favored by his mother. In addition to solo pianoworks, he composed opera, ballet, many French art songs, and concertos for the
harpsichord, piano, and organ. The third and seventh Improvisations date from theearly 1930s; the later two date from 1958 and 1959. No. 15, his very last pianocomposition, is a tribute to the great French chanteuse Édith Piaf (1915-1963). Poulencsaid: “Do not analyze my music, love it!”Beethoven wrote twenty-two sets of piano variations, the best known of which are themonumental Diabelli Variations, Op. 120. He also included variations as movements inseveral significant piano sonatas such as the “Appassionata” and two of his last threesonatas (Op. 109 and 111). The lighthearted Variations in D Major date from 1809, andare based on a Turkish March later used in his incidental music to The Ruins of Athens.Schubert wrote two sets of four Impromptus, this being the first one of the second set,composed in 1827. A substantial work in its own right, it exhibits the “heavenly length”that composer Robert Schumann ascribed to Schubert’s work. It opens with a tragic,minor-key theme--a theme which later recurs twice—and digresses into very distantkeys, sometimes suddenly alternating between minor and major. The effect of some ofthese modulations is otherworldly.Gabriel Fauré was a student of Camille Saint-Saens and an influence on the nextgeneration of French composers, many of whom were his students at the ParisConservatoire. An organist as well as pianist, he composed many French art songs aswell as a well-known Requiem. His piano music includes Barcarolles, Impromptus,Preludes, and Nocturnes—all titles reminiscent of Chopin—and he may be considered alink between Romanticism and the early modernism of composers such as his studentMaurice Ravel. The Opus 34 is the third of five Impromptus, and was composed in1883.Like much of Debussy’s music, “Reflections on the Water” (the first of three pieces fromthe first set of Images) and “The Joyous Island” both have extra-musical associations—in this case, with water. “Reflections” is said to describe the ripples surrounding a fallingpebble, whereas L’Isle joyeuse is associated with a painting known as A Pilgrimage toCythera by Antoine Watteau (1684-1721). The painting is a delicate depiction ofaristocratic revelers leaving for the “mist-shrouded island of love.” It also may refer toDebussy’s sojourn on the real island of Jersey with Emma Bardac.