James Lisney’s ‘Endgame’ project, a series of concerts focussing on the late piano music of Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert and Chopin – four composers who are particularly close to his heart – returns next month with a recital at St George’s, Bristol, one of the UK’s finest venues for piano and chamber music.
The late works of composers, artists and writers can be intransigent and contradictory, sometimes valedictory, but often display an exceptional aesthetic mastery and distilled artistic focus.
In ‘Endgame’ James Lisney explores the notion of ‘Late Style’ through some of the most endlessly satisfying piano music. These extraordinary works demonstrate that lateness is not just about temporal maturity but is also an attitude of mind; here there is the sense of a life lived with intensity, that time is of the essence…
a breathtaking interpretation of some of the last works of the great composers – Seen and Heard International
In this latest instalment of ‘Endgame’, two monumental works by Schubert and Beethoven comprise the programme: Schubert’s good-natured and expansive Sonata in G, D 894, the last of his piano sonatas published during his lifetime, and later described by Robert Schumann as the “most perfect in form and conception” of any of Schubert’s sonatas, precedes Beethoven’s ‘Diabelli’ variations, 33 variations for piano on a waltz by the music publisher and composer Anton Diabelli. Considered to be one of the greatest sets of variations for keyboard alongside Bach’s ‘Goldberg’ variations, it is a work of great wit, humour, ingenuity, allusion and parody combined with a vast range of textures, pulse, sonority and movement.
Endgame V is at St George’s Bristol on 6th October at 7.30pm. Book tickets
The music of Schubert and Beethoven remains my central marker – and everything they wrote appears to be frantically challenging and yet so completely natural, so human – Meet the Artist interview with James Lisney