Visiting professor, composer and film historian Neil Brand demonstrates the art of improvisation with his students, analysing iconic silent film extracts.

Cherry Ge, Xiaowen Shang and Timothy Rumsey piano

Galin Ganchev curates a programme of fantasy-inspired music, from Mozart, Schubert and Chopin to the Danish composer Bent Sørensen. Sorensen’s Fantasia Appassionata was written in 2017 for his wife, the pianist Katrine Gislinge, and contains multiple references to Beethoven’s 'Appassionata' Sonata and Brahms’s 7 Fantasien, Op 116.

Fryderyk Chopin (1810-1849)
Fantaisie in F minor, Op 49

Bent Sørensen (b 1958)
Fantasia Appassionata

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Fantasy in C minor, K 475

Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Fantasy in C for violin and piano, D 934

Anthony Poon violin
Julian Chan, Xiaowen Shang, Bocheng Wang and Galin Ganchev piano

A performance of Rachmaninov’s complete Études-Tableaux, completed in 1917, the year of the Russian Revolution: clouded with the tragedy, turbulence and upheaval of the Great War.

Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
Études-Tableaux, Op 33

Allegro non troppo
Non allegro – Presto
Allegro con fuoco

Études-Tableaux, Op 39

Allegro agitato
Lento assai
Allegro molto
Allegro assai
Lento lugubre
Allegro moderato
Allegro moderato. Tempo di marcia

Kasparas Mikuzis and Gabrielė Sutkutė piano

Beethoven’s final sonata broke all the rules. The hero of Thomas Mann’s Doctor Faustus thought it represented ‘the farewell of the sonata form.’ The taut emotional turmoil of the first movement gives way to a floating spirituality in the second: ‘a final testimony of his sonatas, as well a prelude to silence’, according to Alfred Brendel. It is followed by five of Shostakovich’s most heroic and defiant preludes and fugues, written in 1950-51.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Piano Sonata No 32 in C minor, Op 111

Maestoso – Allegro con brio ed appassionato
Arietta. Adagio molto semplice e cantabile

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)
From 24 Preludes and Fugues, Op 87

No 6 in B minor
No 9 in E
No 15 in D flat
No 5 in D
No 24 in D minor

Sofia Sacco piano

Born in Ukraine and a graduate of the Leningrad Conservatory, Leonid Desyatnikov now lives in New York. A regular collaborator with Gidon Kremer, Desyatnikov is known for his symphonic work and ballets, film scores, and his arrangement of Piazzolla’s tango-opera Maria of Buenos Aries.

His 24 Preludes, known as Songs of Bukovina, were performed in 2017 at the American Ballet Theatre, and are raw, intense, humorous and often sardonic readings of Ukrainian folk songs.

Leonid Desyatnikov (b 1955)
24 Preludes

Steppe wind a-blowin’
The bridesmaid started crying
Ian, where d’you come from? — Beyond the Danube
Oh, Petrivochka, a night so short
The wind is blowing, the sun is warm
A rocky mountain
Oh, I’ll go to the garden
Oh, my sweet vast Canada
Oh, the clock chimed midnight
A swallow has flown in
A cuckoo cuckooed in the house on the corner
If only mother had known
Green willow, green willow
Poplars grew from one field to another
I sew six seeds of maize
Red arrowwood has blossomed white
Oh, whose wedding is this?
Red arrowwood, green leaves
A pike in the sea
They say I’ve lost my looks
Оh, dear sheep of mine
A lady had a husband, she loved some Peter though
You, wretched singer, what are you looking for?
A pipe made of maplewood

Yana Khvan piano

Bach’s weightiest Partita is paired with Sofia Gubaidulina’s dazzling and rarely-performed Piano Sonata, written in 1965. Dedicated to the pianist Henrietta Mirvis, the work follows four motifs which Gubaidulina labels ‘spring’, ‘struggle’, ‘consolation’ and ‘faith.’ Often jazz-inflected, and hugely architectural, Gubaidulina – like Bach – codes her beliefs directly into structure of the music. The first movement is related to human experience, the second to the divine, and the third ‘celebrates the newly obtained freedom of the spirit’.

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Partita No 6 in E minor, BWV 830

Tempo di Gavotta

Sofia Gubaidulina (b 1931)
Sonata (1965)


Eden Agranat Meged and Junyan Chen piano

Belle Chen project leader
Mario Radev animation class tutor
Stuart Hilton
BA Animation course leader

Programme notes

Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
From Estampes

II. La soirée dans Grenade
III. Jardins sous la pluie

Brianna Tang piano
Karina Casanas Invernon
, Jachym Bouzek, Nadine Karapancsev and Skye Moroz animators

Erland von Koch (1910-2009)
Episod i Vallåt

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)

From Valses nobles et sentimentales

II. Assez lent – avec une expression intense
V. Presque lent – dans un sentiment intime
VII. Moins vif

Julia Isaksson piano
Mary Bayati, Nicola England, Iksha Khapung, Ning Ma, Adam Shirvani and Maizie Butler-Copley animators

Maurice Ravel
From Miroirs

II. Oiseaux Tristes
III. Une barque sur l’océan

Modi Deng piano
Jared Heneke
, Mesha-Michaela Brückner, Lily Williams, Frankie Waugh animators
Matthew Rawcliffe dancer (on projection)

Nicolas Economou (1953-1993)
From 8 Nocturnes

No 1
No 3
No 4
No 6
No 7

Christos Yiallouros piano
Mireia Espluga Lee, Kacie Stocks, Izabela Najkowska and Jai Peters animators

The young Iranian pianist Ashkan Layegh leads his own quartet in his latest jazz work, Anti-Revelation. He also includes Ligeti’s eighth étude, and music by ECM’s Swiss pianist and composer Nik Bärtsch, to celebrate his 50th birthday.

Nik Bärtsch (b 1971)
Modul 26

Ashkan Layegh (b 1997)
From Anti-Revelation


György Ligeti (1923-2006)

Ashkan Layegh
From Anti-Revelation


Sam Norris alto saxophone
Gonçalo Maia Caetano
electric bass
Ashkan Layegh piano
Harry Ling drums