Songs Without Words - Tucson Desert Song Festival
Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 2:00 pm
Winston Choi, piano
James Reel, host
James Reel replaces Eric Friesen who was unable to host due to a family emergency.
In a festival exclusive, noted Tucson writer and radio personality James Reel and pianist Winston Choi will examine Liszt’s transcriptions of Schubert and Schumann lieder for solo voice and piano—some with words and some without, and some solo piano works conceived as songs based on poems. In addition to his transcriptions of lieder, Liszt also composed solo piano works conceived as songs based on poems. His own Sonetto del Petrarca No. 104 based on Petrarch’s Sonnet 104 and Liebesträume (Dreams of Love) will be among the ten pieces performed. The program will conclude with Yvar Mikhashoff’s Portrait of Madame Butterfly, an opera transcription in the grand style of Liszt.
Mendelssohn first referred to Lieder ohne Worte (Songs without Words) in a letter to his sister in December 1828. He composed them initially for family and friends, but by 1832 decided to revise and publish these miniatures. The Songs without Words program will feature the six songs from Opus 85.
Laureate of the 2003 Honens International Piano Competition and winner of France’s 2002 Concours International de Piano 20e siècle d’Orléans, Canadian pianist Winston Choi has performed in recital and with orchestra across four continents. He has collaborated with composers including William Bolcom, Elliott Carter, Brian Ferneyhough, Bernard Rands, Sven-David Sandstrom, Bright Sheng, Christian Wolff, Chen Yi and John Zorn. His debut CD, the complete piano works of Elliott Carter, was given five stars by BBC Music Magazine: for “…sheer élan and pianistic devilment…” Choi is Assistant Professor and Head of Piano at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts.
In partnership with the Tucson Desert Song Festival