On the rare occasions we’ve heard Seong-Jin Cho live, we’ve preferred his solo playing to his concerto performances, so we’re looking forward to this one, particularly as it’s such an interesting and varied programme. Those who can’t make it to the concert, or who want to prepare for it, can listen to two of the pieces on Cho’s upcoming Deutsche Grammophon recording (to be released on 3 February). Cho comments on Handel’s solo keyboard music on the Deutsche Grammophon website:
I discovered Handel’s suites a few years ago and realised that they contain so many great pieces, which are not so often played by pianists on a modern piano… I really wanted to explore this kind of music and was very happy to record this Handel album. For me, Handel’s music comes directly from the heart, so people can easily follow it.
Seong-Jin Cho solo recital at the Barbican
Piano sensation Seong-Jin Cho brings his musical refinement to a solo programme of Baroque dance music and the Romantic composers inspired by it.
Baroque music is closely intertwined with dance and Seong-Jin brings together works inspired by its energy and rhythmic drive. Handel supposedly describes the beats of a foundry in his Suite; years later, Brahms pays musical tribute to Handel. Sofia Gubaidulina, one of today’s most admired composers, explores the hypnotic Baroque Chaconne dance form, and Robert Schumann’s Symphonische Etüden reference the Baroque with unashamed passion.
Described by Simon Rattle as ‘a poet on the keyboard’, South Korean Seong-Jin has risen meteorically since he won the Chopin Piano Competition in 2015. Renowned for Romantic repertoire such as Chopin and Rachmaninov, tonight he travels back in time to show how deeply rooted that music is in Baroque style and its feeling of dance. Prepare simultaneously to tap your foot and have your emotions stirred.
George Frideric Handel Suite No 5 in E major
Sofia Gubaidulina Chaconne
Johannes Brahms Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel
Nos 1, 2, 4 and 5 from Klavierstücke, Op 76
Robert Schumann Symphonic Etudes