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Schubert on the Bluff: Year Three

Guest Composer: Claude Debussy

Duquesne University presents Schubert on the Bluff, a three-year concert series featuring works of Franz Schubert, the great Viennese composer of some of the most purely beautiful music ever written. Initially famous in his brief lifetime for his over 600 songs, Schubert made enormously valuable contributions to the chamber music literature, masterpieces full of passionate melodies and rich harmonies. Each season will include many of these beloved chamber works, along with piano solos and duets. In addition, each season will feature a guest composer, whose music will be part of each program. Pre-concert conversations will bring personal insights from the artists to help prepare the audience for that afternoon's performance. Reserved seating will be available, so book your tickets early!

Schubert on the Bluff presents its third and final season of concerts, this year with guest composer Claude Debussy. Schubert's gorgeous melodies and emotionally gripping music has captivated audiences for almost two centuries, while Debussy's lush, Impressionistic tone paintings have placed him among the giants of the 20th century. For the 16th season, Artistic Director David Allen Wehr, holder of the Jack W. Geltz Distinguished Piano Chair at Duquesne University, will lead his faculty colleagues, members of the Pittsburgh Symphony, and exciting guest artists in programs of some of the most memorable and moving music ever written. Many of last year's concerts sold out; the best way to be sure you don't miss any of the music is to purchase a season ticket. The Bluff concerts have always been a bargain, and reserved-seat season tickets only cost $75. Mark your calendars now!

Concert IX

Concert IX: Octet

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
PNC Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m.

There will be no pre-concert talk.

TIME TBA Concert

Schubert's tuneful Octet headlines our season opener, contrasting with the dramatic and turbulent Piano Sonata in C Minor. Debussy composed three "chamber sonatas" during World War I, and all three will be presented this season; the Sonata for Cello and Piano explores the composer's reactions to the horrors in the world around him in a work of wistfulness and humor.

Repertoire

Schubert:

Octet in F Major, D. 803
Piano Sonata in C Minor, D. 958
"Gelagart unter'm" duet from "The Friends of Salamanca", D. 326

Debussy:

Sonata for Cello and Piano

Musicians

David Allen Wehr, piano
Charles Stegeman, violin
Rachel Stegeman, violin
Meng Wang, viola
Adam Liu, cello
Aaron White, contrabass
Ron Samuels, clarinet
Phillip Pandolfi, bassoon
Zachary Smith, French horn

Concert X

Concert X: Piano Duet II

Sunday, November 12, 2017
PNC Recital Hall, 3:00 p.m.

2:30 p.m. Pre-concert

David Allen Wehr visits with Jeffrey Turner.

3:00 p.m. Concert

David Allen Wehr and Cynthia Raim complete their survey of Schubert's major works for four hands at one piano, with the delightful and virtuosic Variations and the emotional and deep Fantasy in F Minor. Debussy is represented by the charming Petite Suite and the sweeping masterpiece "En blanc et noir." Jeffrey Turner takes a star turn playing Schubert's popular Arpeggione Sonata on the contrabass.

Repertoire

Schubert:

Fantasy in F Minor for Piano Duet, D. 940
Variations on an Original Theme for Piano Duet, D. 813
Sonata in A Minor for Arpeggione and Piano, D. 821

Debussy:

Petite Suite for Piano Duet
En blanc et noir for Two Pianos

Musicians

Cynthia Raim, piano
David Allen Wehr, piano
Jeffrey Turner, contrabass

Concert XI

Concert XI: Violin/Piano II

Tuesday, February 27, 2018
PNC Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m.

There will be no pre-concert talk.

7:30 p.m. Concert

Berlin Philharmonic Concertmaster Noah Bendix-Balgley makes his only Pittsburgh appearance this season to complete the Schubert violin/piano cycle with David Allen Wehr, playing the inspired Fantasy, the melodious Grand Duo and the tempestuous Sonata in G Minor. Debussy's remaining chamber sonatas will be performed, with Gretchen Van Hoesen leading her ensemble in the trio sonata, one of her longtime specialties.

Repertoire

Schubert:

Fantasy in C Major for Violin and Piano, D. 934
Sonata in A Major for Violin and Piano, D. 574 (Grand Duo)
Sonata in G Minor for Violin and Piano, D. 408
"Sei mir grusst", D. 741

Debussy:

Sonata for Violin and Piano
Trio Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp

Musicians

Noah Bendix-Balgley, violin
David Allen Wehr, piano
Gretchen Van Hoesen, harp
Jennifer Anne Steele, flute
Marylène Gingras-Roy, viola
Brent Weber, tenor

Concert XII

Concert XII: Piano Trio #2

Sunday, March 11, 2018
PNC Recital Hall, 3:00 p.m.

2:30 p.m. Pre-concert

David Allen Wehr visits with Andrés Cárdenes.

3:00 p.m. Concert

Andrés Cárdenes returns to PNC Recital Hall to headline Schubert's great Piano Trio #2, joining his longtime trio partner Anne Martindale Williams. David Allen Wehr performs Schubert's monumental posthumous Sonata in A Major, and Natasha Snitkovsky plays Debussy's nostalgic "La plus que lente" and brilliant "Pour le piano".

Repertoire

Schubert:

Piano Trio no. 2 in E-Flat Major, D. 929
Piano Sonata in A Major, D. 959

Debussy:

Suite pour le piano
La plus que lente

Musicians

David Allen Wehr, piano
Natasha Snitkovsky, piano
Andrés Cárdenes, violin
Anne Martindale Williams, cello

Concert XIII

Concert XIII: Winter Journey

Sunday, April 15, 2018
PNC Recital Hall, 3:00 p.m.

2:30 p.m. Pre-concert

David Allen Wehr plays Debussy's Suite Bergamasque and L'isle joyeuse

3:00 p.m. Concert

A co-presentation with Pittsburgh Song Collaborative, Benjamin Binder, Artistic Director

Schubert was most famous during his lifetime for his over 600 songs, some of which were grouped into cycles. Perhaps the most important of these is the death-haunted "Winterreise", a journey into winter's darkness many music lovers consider Schubert's finest achievement in song. Vocal expert Benjamin Binder is joined by acclaimed baritone Daniel Teadt. Winter is coming!

Repertoire

Schubert:

Winterreise (Winter Journey) song cycle, D. 911

Musicians

Daniel Teadt, baritone
Benjamin Binder, piano