There is hardly another musical instrument that has played such a central role throughout music history while undergoing such rapid and transformative technical development as the piano. In its early incarnations as harpsichord, later fortepiano and then as the concert grand of the present day, the piano has always challenged composers. They, in turn, continuously issued new challenges to piano makers. Lovely miniatures and fulminant virtuoso pieces, experiments in sound and colourful paraphrases – the Philharmonie’s programmes reflect the magic of the keyboard in all its facets, and it is epitomized in a concert series dedicated entirely to the realm of black and white keys: «Récital de piano».
In the name of stylistic diversity, some of the heights of the pianist’s art are scaled here. The spectrum ranges from the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, whose works are interpreted by Evgeny Kissin, to Dmitri Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes and Fugues, which were inspired by Bach’s polyphonic technique and are performed by Igor Levit. There is also space for a journey through sound and time guided, among others, by Alexander Melnikov, who combines Schubert, Chopin and Liszt with the master of the colour organ, Alexander Scriabin, performing each work on instruments resembling those of the time of their writing as closely as possible. The Luxembourg audience has long appreciated the dazzling monologues of Grigory Sokolov’s exploration of the repertoire and may also embark upon a grand tour from Rachmaninoff to entirely new works written for pianist Tamara Stefanovich, a musician equally at home in the classical repertoire and contemporary music. The kaleidoscope of inimitable pianistic personalities of our times is further expanded by Khatia Buniatishvili and Krystian Zimerman. Thus, the Philharmonie’s 2021/22 season presents a resounding compendium of piano music.