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Free Classical Interludes at the Brooklyn Public Library

posted Apr 30, 2012, 7:07 AM by Steven Vaughan
Fr. Mulkerin recently informed me that the Brooklyn Public Central Library on Grand Army Plaza presents a series of free one-hour concerts called Classical Interludes every Sunday afternoon at 4:00 pm in its Dweck Center for Contemporary Culture.

This Sunday, April 29, Luba Poliak (who was only eleven years old when she first appeared with the Novosibirsk Philharmonic Orchestra) will perform a piano recital featuring Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 8 in B flat major, Op. 84 and Schumann’s Sonata No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22.  (Opus, which is Latin for “work,” refers to the number assigned to composers’ compositions upon publication to help identify and catalog their works.)  I’ve played Sergei Prokofiev’s eighth sonata twice now, and confess it’s the most challenging piece I’ve ever performed in public.  The third of his three “war sonatas,” it premiered in 1940 and won a Stalin Prize (First Class) even though it’s been subsequently interpreted as representing the composer “venting his anger and frustration with the Soviet regime.”  He is best known for his ballet Romeo and Juliet and his narrated orchestral story Peter and the Wolf; but if you get a chance, listen to any of his five piano concertos, nine piano sonatas or seven symphonies.  (A concerto features a solo instrument accompanied by orchestra, a sonata is for a solo instrument alone, and a symphony is for orchestra without a featured soloist.)

At the same time on Sunday, May 6, the Claremont Trio will perform works by Beethoven, Shostakovich and Mendelssohn.  Based in New York City near their namesake avenue, the trio consists of twin sisters who play violin and cello with a pianist who attended Julliard with them.  They recently released their critically acclaimed Beethoven & Ravel recording.

If you do make it to either of these concerts, let me know what you think!
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