April 16, 2024
Annapolis, US 64 F

Ganz & Hildebrand relate the music and art of impressionism

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monet-impression-sunrise oct 24On Friday, October 24 at 8 pm Brian Ganz, widely regarded as one of the leading pianists of his generation, and musical historian and performer (voice and guitar) David Hildebrand will present “Listening to the Paintings: An Exploration of European Art and Music.” A mixture of music and discussion will illustrate how French Impressionism and other artistic movements came to influence musical forms, and in turn how music influenced works of art, from the 1700’s through the early 20th century. Works by Claude Debussy, the father of Impressionism in music, will be intertwined with music by Ravel, Schubert and others, while works of art are displayed and discussed. The concert will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis (UUCA), 333 Dubois Road. Tickets are $15 at the door. For more information visit www.uuannapolis.org/slider/fourth-friday or call 410-266-8044.

Ganz will perform Jeux d’eau (“Water Play”) by Maurice Ravel, a work of scintillating impressionism influenced by Debussy. Hildebrand and Ganz will sing and play a song by Franz Schubert from his song cycle Winterreise, (A Winter’s Journey). This last song of the cycle depicts a lonely hurdy gurdy player. The painting by Claude Monet, Impression: Sunrise, will be viewed while Ganz plays several works of Claude Debussy. This painting was the inspiration for the term Impressionism that came to be associated with Debussy’s music. Ganz will play several works by Debussy, including Reflections in the Water (from Images), and The Engulfed Cathedral (from Preludes, book 1).

This program is part of the “Brian Ganz and Friends” concert series offered monthly to benefit the UUCA church’s work. Ganz will perform a piece by little-known composer Emmanuel Chabrier called Idylle, from a collection of works entitled Picturesque Pieces. He will also play a movement from Schumann’s Carnaval, a depiction of the pre-Lenten carnival, in which Schumann paints a portrait of the  Harlequin, a character from the Italian Commedia dell’Arte.  While the audience soaks up the sounds of Debussy and Ravel, Hildebrand will share projected images of related paintings such as “The Japanese Footbridge” by Claude Monet and Edward Manet’s “The Old Musician.”

The audience will learn how elements of romanticism worked their way into the performing and visual arts when the young Chopin took up residence in Paris and French painters headed out of their studios to depict the forests of Fontainebleau, and rivers and haystacks of the countryside, and the Mediterranean seacoast in all of its moods.  Hildebrand said, “Prepare to hear not just the sounds of the city theatres and concert halls but the folk music of the streets and raucous ‘can-can’ of Montmartre.”

Brian Ganz, PianistGanz has appeared as soloist with such orchestras as the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Baltimore and the National Symphonies, the City of London Sinfonia, and L’Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo. He has performed in many of the world’s major concert halls and has played under the baton of such conductors as Leonard Slatkin, Mstislav Rostropovich, Pinchas Zukerman, Jerzy Semkow and Yoel Levi. A Washington Post review in September 2014 said “Brian Ganz chose an approach that was commanding yet thoughtful and totally musical.  Ganz’s dazzling and informed playing captured the essence of each piece.”

Ganz began his “Extreme Chopin” quest to perform all of Frédéric Chopin’s works three and a half years ago. His sold out recital at the Music Center at Strathmore launched Ganz’s ambitious endeavor to perform the approximately 250 works of Chopin over the next decade.  The next concerts in the series will take place at Strathmore on February 7 and 8, 2015.

Ginger and David HildebrandDr. David Hildebrand is a specialist in early American music, holding the Ph.D. in musicology from Catholic University.  He teaches American music history at the Peabody Conservatory and is an author for the Johns Hopkins University Press.  David and his wife Ginger Hildebrand have, since 1980, appeared at such venues as the Kennedy Center, Mount Vernon, the National Gallery of Art, Colonial Williamsburg and at colleges, universities, museums and historic sites around the country and abroad.

He consults and lectures widely, and in 2012 produced and narrated a one-hour national public radio special on music of the war of 1812.  He has appeared on “History Detectives” and in the movie “Washington Square,” and most recently in brother Mark Hildebrand’s nationally aired documentary film, “Anthem, the story behind `The Star Spangled Banner.'” He and his wife have released seven CD recordings.

This program is the 8th in a year-long ticketed concert series offered monthly on the 4th Friday at 8PM at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis (UUCA). Individual tickets are $15, and a five concert “series ticket” can be obtained at the door for $60. The next concert will star Italian classical guitarist Flavio Sala on November 28. See www.uuannapolis.org/slider/fourth-friday for future programming.

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