Yoav Levanon, Martha Argerich, Akane Sakai, and Sergio Tiempo perform Liszt, Marc-André Hamelin (world premiere), Bach, Prokofiev, and Ravel

Le Piano Symphonique Festival 2024 — With Michael Sanderling and the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra

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Yoav Levanon — Pianist

Martha Argerich — Pianist

Akane Sakai — Pianist

Sergio Tiempo — Pianist

Roman Blagojevic — Pianist

David Chen — Pianist

Michael Sanderling — Conductor

Lucerne Symphony Orchestra

Program notes

This exceptional concert from the thrilling third edition of Lucerne's Le Piano Symphonique festival features remarkable concerto and duet action at the piano—as well as an extraordinary rare treat for piano lovers: a solo performance by Martha Argerich!

The program kicks off with the phenomenal Yoav Levanon continuing his exploration of the works of Franz Liszt in the devilish Totentanz, alongside maestro Michael Sanderling at the head of the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester. Based on the Gregorian plainchant melody Dies irae, the Totentanz translates as a “dance of death” and reflects the composer’s dark fascination with the macabre. Next up is the world premiere of “Hexensabbat” by Marc-André Hamelin—a composition especially commissed for Le Piano Symphonique

In the second half, the magnificent Martha Argerich—whose solo performances have been rarer than blue moons since the 1980s—plays Bach’s Partita No. 2 in C Minor, beginning with a Sinfonia in the style of a French overture and concluding with a striking and unconventional Capriccio. The prodigious Akane Sakai then joins the “Pianiste Associée” in a rendition of Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 1, titled the “Classical Symphony” for its modern adaptation of Haydn and Mozart’s classical style. To finish off this sublime concert, virtuoso Sergio Tiempo joins Martha Argerich in a stunning interpretation of Ravel’s La Valse, described by the composer as “a grand waltz, a sort of tribute to the memory of the great Strauss [Johann]” – the perfect way to end a magical evening of music! As a very special encore, the legendary Martha is joined by her grandchildren David Chen and Roman Blagojevic  in a sublime Rachmaninov gem for piano six hands.

Photo: Martha Argerich © Daniel Dittus
Yoav Levanon appears courtesy of Warner Classics.

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