Poems and pictures: a perspective of musical journey in piano recital
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Piano recitals are often associated with listening to beautiful and virtuosic performances. While most of the piano repertoire are absolute music, there are a few programmatic piano pieces that have stories, poems, or other literary aspects. I am presenting a recital titled “Poems and Pictures,” to offer a perspective in a musical journey through listening to a piano recital. The program selections in this recital allow the audience to listen to a piano recital and get a similar experience as going to the movies. Like a movie, this recital program includes stories (poems), pictures, and sounds (music). In this contemporary era, when everything tends to be fast-paced, and technology-oriented, many people do not enjoy going to a long classical piano recital without knowing the music. The goal of this program is to lure in more audience and to guide them on how to enjoy a piano recital. People love stories and this program will bring it to the audience. The first half of this program, there are poems related to each of the piece. I commissioned the first piece, Andando (Walking) by American composer, Dylan Findley. This piece was inspired by a Spanish poem by Juan Ramón Jiménez. The second piece is a transcription of Schubert’s song “Der Müller und der Bach” from his song cycle Die Schone Müllerin by Franz Liszt. The third piece is Johannes Brahms’ Ballades, op. 10. The first Ballade from this set is the only one that has a poem associated with the music. All three pieces in the first half are associated with story and words. Each of them has a plot, which invites the audience to join in the journey of the music. The second half of this program, I am presenting Mussorgsky’s Picture at an Exhibition, which has pictures associated with each of the pieces in the set. Like the first half of the recital, this second half will open with a journey of walking. Pictures at an Exhibition opens with a Promenade, which depict the action of walking or entering the art exhibition. Listeners then will hear numerous different pieces associated with specific paintings in the exhibition. By having supplementary elements attached to the music, I hope that listeners can enters the musical journey through words, poems, and pictures. These visual and literary accompaniment to the music in this program will hopefully promote imaginations from the listeners, hence creating a more relatable and enjoyable experience this program.