Misuzu Tanaka is notably unique; an artist of poetic sensibilities and astounding virtuosity, she is famous for her “dizzying speed and sensitivity” (Today’s Zaman, Turkey) and her “exceptionally high technical level” (General-Anzeiger Bonn, Germany). As one of the best of the rising generation of young pianists, you won’t want to miss her San Miguel debut on Friday, January 27 and Sunday, January 29, 5 pm at St. Paul’s Church, Calle Cardo in two different concerts.
Internationally recognized for her talent and impeccable execution, Tanaka has performed in some of the greatest venues in the world - from the Gewandhaus in Leipzig and Mozart’s Museum at Villa Bertramka in Prague to Alice Tully Hall in New York. Both a small ensemble collaborator and a solo artist, Tanaka is as versatile as she is skilled.
On Friday, Tanaka will play classic romantic works including Mendelssohn's Prelude and Fugue No. 1 in E minor. While biographical events don’t inherently relate to the music composed at the time, this particular work was created by the bedside of his dying friend, Julius Schubring. As the disease destroyed his companion, his own composition built in intensity and tenacity. Schubert's Impromptus, short, independent pieces, similar to Preludes, were composed shortly before his death. Although they may be imagined as improvised, they were far from it. Rather, they are tiny masterpieces, extremely challenging and equally rewarding for pianist and audience alike. Tanaka will also feature Prokofiev's Piano Sonata No. 2 in D minor. A prolific and composer, this child prodigy is best known for Peter and the Wolf; the opera, Love of Three Oranges and the ballet, Romeo and Juliet—arguably his greatest masterpiece. Rachmaninoff's Preludes were inspired by Bach's Preludes in all twenty-four keys and it will be fascinating to hear the modern realization of this musical form after nearly three centuries of development.
On Sunday, Tanaka will showcase Bach's popular Italian Concerto. The composition, without soloist or orchestra, still creates a conversation between the two forces by the dynamism of the writing for the piano. Mozart's Piano Sonata in C Minor, originally named "Fantasy and Sonata," was written for Thérèse von Trattner, a gifted student of Mozart’s with whom he was rumored to have a secret romance. Mozart’s passion is transmuted by the music into one of his most powerful and moving compositions. Chopin's Ballade No. 4 in F minor is in a free, one-movement form, unique to this composer. Returning to Rachmaninoff, we will hear his Variations on a Theme of Corelli, La Folía. Dating back to Passover music sung by Renaissance Italian Jews, Rachmaninoff’s variations are a beautiful twist on this ancient music.
Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $250 and $350 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión; only at Aldama 3, the School of Arts at the Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 22, and at the concert half an hour before performance time.