Saint Simons Island   ¨  Georgia



Oct.6 - 2009 Nov.10 - 2009 Jan.26 - 2010 Feb.16 - 2010 Mar.9 - 2010
Mark Laverty Noel Freidline ETA3 Linden Duo

Caroline Thomas




Flute Guitar

Miroslav Kroupa



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Tuesday, October 6 2009
7:30 P.M.

Artist Website

“A dynamic, exciting performer”
Immanuel Lutheran Church-


And held at

St. Simons Presbyterian Church




Island Concert Association

205 Kings Way

Saint Simons Island, Georgia 31522

Telephone: 912-638-2220


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Toccata & Fugue in D Minor...............Bach-Busoni

“Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”.............Bach-Hess

Sonata in A Major, K. 331...................Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

          Andante grazioso-Adagio-Allegro


          Alla Turca-Allegretto

Ballade No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 23........Frederic Chopin

Ballade No. 2 in F Major, Op. 38 

Etude in E Major, Op. 10, No. 3 

Polonaise in A-flat Major, Op. 53 ‘Heroic’

Mark Laverty is on the Artist Roster of the
Missouri Arts Council And the Mid-America Arts Alliance

The Toccata and Fugue in D Miby Johann Sebastian Bach is so famous it almost needs no introduction.  Although originally composed early in the eighteenth century for the organ, due to its tremendous appeal it has since been arranged for a variety of ensembles and solo instruments, including the solo piano version arranged by Ferrucio Busoni (1866-1924) presented here today.

In the early twentieth century two concert pianists heard two of Bach's cantatas, and were so moved by the music that they were inspired to create piano transcriptions of selected melodies from these works.  The first of these is the pastoral "Sheep May Safely Graze," which derives from Cantata No. 208, and was arranged by the French pianist Egon Petri.  The second selection, "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring," presented here, derives from Cantata No. 147, and was transcribed by Dame Myra Hess in 1926.  It has since become one of the most famous melodies in all of Christendom.

Composed around 1783, the A major Sonata by Mozart, displays the refinement, and control of emotion, characteristic of the Classical period.  Ironically, although it carries the title ‘Sonata’, this multi-movement work does not contain the typical sonata-allegro form normally associated with a sonata.  The first movement is actually a theme and variations, a form Mozart used frequently to great effect.  The second movement is a traditional Minuet and Trio, while the finale is the famous Rondo all turca.  This last movement is no doubt a reflection of the sights and sounds to which Mozart might have been exposed, given that the Turkish empire and its army bands were at that time frequently encroaching on, and invading, Austrian and Viennese territory.  In any event, it has become a much beloved and often performed standard in the piano repertory.

The four Ballades, two of which are presented here today, offer some of the most exquisite, yet technically challenging, solo piano music composed by Frederic Chopin.  In his Handbook to Chopin's Works, Ashton Jonson states that, "The Four Ballades are amongst his greatest works," and quotes Frederick Niecks who says, "none of Chopin's compositions surpass in masterliness of form and beauty and poetry of content his Ballades.  In them he attains, I think, the acme of his power as an artist."  Jonson concludes that, "in these Ballades we have the finest flower of Chopin's genius and a priceless artistic possession."[1]

A good example of this genius can be found in Ballade No. 1, Op. 23, in G minor.  Here Chopin uses the symmetry of an arch-shaped outline as the formal basis of this piece.  Although the introduction and coda are disproportionate in size - seven and sixty-one measures, respectively - they form the 'bookends' for the enclosed thematic material.  Following the introduction, a melancholy first subject is presented in the key of G minor.  After this comes the second subject in E-flat major, containing a somewhat nostalgic sounding melody in the right hand, accompanied by an arpeggiated figure in the left.  The high point of the piece is reached in the subsequent development section, which incorporates material from the two previous themes.  Appropriately, this section contains the largest number of measures - seventy-two - adding to the symmetry of the piece.  After the development comes a restatement of the second subject, followed by an abbreviated restatement of the first subject thereby creating a mirror image of their initial presentation.  The lengthy coda of fifty-six bars ends the piece with a dramatic display of virtuosity.

Unlike Ballade No. 1, Ballade No. 2, Op. 38, in F major, has no introduction.  However, it does use the same two-theme format as Ballade No. 1, and also contains an impassioned and virtuosic coda.  Similar to the first Ballade, and indeed the final two, Ballade No. 2 begins with a gentle opening.  Unison 'C' pitches resembling the striking of bells begin the first section which presents a charming chorale-like theme in F major.  From the Andantino of this first section, Chopin abruptly changes the mood in the second section with a Presto con fuoco, a fortissimo dynamic, and cascading arpeggios and octaves in both hands.  The effect is one of a thunderstorm or tornado having arrived immediately and without warning.  This second theme is stated first in the key of A minor, then in G minor.  Like the first Ballade, number 2 also has an extended development section (fifty-eight bars) containing thematic material from the two main themes.  After the development, however, there is only a restatement of the second subject; first in the key of D minor, then in the original key of A minor.  From this, Chopin segues into the coda with descending, unison trills in the bass register, which creates more of a dramatic, rather than an ornamental, effect.  The coda in the key of A minor uses a repetitive double note figure in the right hand to help create the Agitato tempo, supported by octaves and broken chords in the left hand.  Virtually the entire range of the keyboard is used here, as well as a wide range of dynamics: from forte at the start of the coda, to a climax of fortissimo near the end, and concluding with eight bars of pianissimo, poignantly restating the first theme.

The two etudes of Opus 10 display two of Chopin’s most common temperaments: tenderness and tempestuousness.  Etude no. 3, in E Major, offered here, presents one of the most beautiful melodies in music, contrasted sharply in the middle section with the much technical drama and volatility.  These ‘concert’ etudes are intended not just for the practice room, but primarily for the concert stage.

The ‘Heroic’ Polonaise is another piece that is instantly recognizable, and loved the world over.  In addition to its captivating melodies, it is a technical and artistic challenge for every pianist.

 Program notes by Mark Laverty ã 2009

1] G. C. Ashton Jonson, A Handbook to Chopin's Works (London: William Reeves, n.d.) 142-4.

205 Kings Way  ¨  Saint Simons Island, Georgia 31522  ¨  PH: 912-638-2220   ¨

©  1985  |  The Island Concert Association





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