Master class

Stephen Kovacevich teaches Chopin: Fantasy in F minor

Treasures of the Masterclass Media Foundation

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Stephen Kovacevich — Teacher, pianist

Nicolas van Poucke — Pianist

Program notes

Internationally renowned as a soloist and concertist, for performing works from the classical and romantic repertoires, Stephen Kovacevich dedicates himself to Chopin in this masterclass.

When still a teenager, the American Stephen Kovacevich made his first public appearances alongside with the San Francisco Symphony. But it was only in 1961 that his career really started, when he gave a recital at the Wigmore Hall in London in a program bringing Berg, Bach and Beethoven together. He was so successful that night that he was immediately shot to the top. Then he pursued a career as a soloist and chamber musician, accompanied by Major names such as Jacqueline du Pré or Martha Argerich. Since 1984, he has been carrying out conductor activities brilliantly, conducting for instance the Chamber Orchestra of Europe or the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

In this masterclass, he examines Chopin's Fantasy in F Minor, an immense piece for piano combining a strong compositional structure to a stylized great degree of improvisation. Composed in 1841, the composer dedicated this piece to his student, princess Catherine de Souzo. Chopin himself had confided he considered this very romantic work as his favourite one. Starting with a deep musical leap, almost mournful, it goes more and more singing with a prevailing passionate melody. This duality is solved by an angelic, almost mystic, aerial climate.

The Masterclass Media Foundation Archives offer students and music lovers around the world filmed masterclasses which are taught by the best talents, around greatest works of the classical repertoire. Their primary purpose is to offer a valuable educational resource in order to perpetuated passion and knowledge from one generation to another.

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