Over a hundred years ago, early works of the Danish/Dutch composer Leopold van der Pals saw their world premiere at Carnegie Hall. A week ago last Thursday, I had the good fortune to be at the Weill recital hall at Carnegie Hall to hear Tobias van der Pals and Pål Eide perform a carefully curated program of works for cello and piano, centered around another world premiere of Leopold van der Pals: his first cello sonata, performed by musical partners including the composer’s great grandnephew. The hall was packed with audience members of all ages who had come to hear this work, written in 1906 while the twenty-two-year-old composer was recuperating from tuberculosis at a Swiss sanatorium. The sonata could not be performed until the missing puzzle piece—the last several pages of the score—was discovered by Tobias and the whole work painstakingly and lovingly updated by him with markings for dynamics and bowing.
Program GLIÈRE Con Moto in E Major from Twelve Pieces, Op. 51, No. 1 (1910) GLAZUNOV Chant du ménéstrel, Op. 71 (1900) LEOPOLD VAN DER PALS Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 5a (World Premiere, 1906) TCHAIKOVSKY Pezzo capriccioso, Op. 62 (1887) RACHMANINOFF Cello Sonata in G Minor, Op. 19 (1901) (Encore) GLAZUNOV Spanish Seranade, from Two Pieces for cello and orchestra, Op. 20 (1887–1888) (Encore) LEOPOLD VAN DER PALS, Nach der Jagt, Op. 1 No. 3 (ca. 1905), song based on Ohotsuno Ozi’s 8th-century poem, arranged for cello and piano by Tobias van der Pals
In 1911, two Symphonic Poems of composer Leopold van der Pals saw their world premieres at Carnegie Hall, framed by orchestral works of Wagner, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff. Now, 111 years later, another of Leopold van der Pals’ works will see its world premiere. On November 10th, cellist Tobias van der Pals and pianist Pål Eide will be performing the work at Carnegie Hall.
In 2000, Tobias van der Pals was a twenty-two-year-old cello student in his first year at music conservatory in Copenhagen. In that year he found out about an archive in Dornach, Switzerland at which were stored works of the composer Leopold van der Pals, Tobias’s great granduncle, who lived from 1884 to 1966. Traveling with his grandfather to the town where Leopold had lived the last decades of his life, they were granted access to the archive. There Tobias found a treasure: manuscripts of nearly all the composer’s works.
To saturate an entire recital with the chamber works of Johannes Brahms can present ample opportunity for showcasing the man’s kaleidoscopic compositional reach, especially if you pair works from the start and end of his life. However, in this recital, the artists made a deliberate choice to intertwine two works extremely close in opus–letting us judge for ourselves how varied or consistent Brahms can be within one era of his life.
Program Johannes Brahms Piano Quartet No. 2 in A Major, Op. 26 Piano Quintet in F Minor, Op. 34
The Takács Quartet, together with Garrick Ohlssohn, makes for an angelic, powerful collaboration. Each player has their own distinctive approach and emotional universe that they seamlessly entwine with the others’. Despite the often stark stylistic differences between players (which will be explored later), the goal of the piece is consistently reached–in color, intent, pacing, and shape.
Emerging from the devastation inflicted on the New York City music performance scene will be a big job, and PIANYC is getting ready to resume its small part. Our readers have seen months of zombie listings for what were planned piano concerts that became canceled due to the pandemic. Thankfully spared by the infection, we have been fazed and even dazed, but we are waking up, clearing out the cobwebs and shaking our limbs. We have eliminated many canceled concert listings. And we have kept those still planned, mostly those at Carnegie Hall and Spectrum, venues that certainly are showing their optimism. We will be filling in new listings as they become available at the large public venues, the music schools, houses of worship, and all other NYC venues where we can find public piano performances. We will keep our ears open for online performances that have specific appeal to New Yorkers.
When looking at one of our event listings, please make sure to click the link to the host-venue website, to make sure the event is still planned:
Stay healthy, and hope with us for a speedy return of the sound of the keys out in public.