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      Jan Lisiecki, Piano in Durham

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      January 31, 2020


      1336 Campus Drive
      Durham, North Carolina 27708

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      Jan Lisiecki, Piano


      Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki makes his Duke Performances debut at Baldwin Auditorium, furnishing a program replete in classics of the repertoire. Only 24 years old, Lisiecki has established serious artistic credentials: his recordings of Chopin at age 14 were praised by BBC Music Magazine for their “mature musicality,” and at 15 he signed an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon. Rebuffing the “child prodigy” label, Lisiecki’s gifts are admirable in pianists of any age.

      Bach composed the Capriccio when he was 19, ostensibly as his brother was leaving for Sweden; Lisiecki shows off his technical range in a piece comprising vignettes in various styles. Mendelssohn’s sixth book of Songs Without Words provides an introspective musical diary, while Chopin’s Nocturnes, opus 27, present mysterious essays in mood. Followed by two rondos, Lisiecki steers through the intensity of Beethoven’s “Rage Over a Lost Penny” and the fantasy of Mendelssohn’s Rondo capriccioso. Lisiecki revives Rubinstein’s spirited Valse-caprice, ending with early romantic masterpieces: Chopin’s best-known nocturnes and fourth ballade, and Mendelssohn’s Variation sérieuses.


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