GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Lifestyle

April 25, 2013

Supreme solo pianist comes to Shalin Liu

Lars Vogt, one of the leading keyboard artists of his generation and a man described as an “explosively expressive pianist,” comes to Rockport’s waterfront music hall in a concert Friday night.

The stop in the tiny seaside town is just one of dozens as he tours North America and Europe. The German pianist comes to Rockport from Ottawa, and after which he travels to New York City and then back to Europe with his first stops in Spain and Sweden.

David Deveau, Rockport Music’s artistic director, said this will be a memorable concert of a musician who became the first ever Pianist in Residence for the Berliner Philharmoniker.

“Lars Vogt is at the peak of his powers, and fully established worldwide as a probing and compelling artist. I personally cannot wait for this close-up performance, and can assure you it will be unforgettable,” he said. “His seriousness as a musician, his breadth of repertoire, his appealing stage persona have earned him a special place with the Berlin Philharmonic.”

The 42-year-old Vogt talked in a phone interview this week about his unique program, which he performs on Friday at 8 p.m. at the Shalin Liu Performance Center. It includes masterpieces as well as children’s pieces.

His program is expected to include Bartok’s “Excerpts from For Children (1908-10, rev. 1943); Schubert’s “Sonata in G Major, D.894” (1826); Larcher’s “Poems: 12 Pieces for Pianists and Other Children” (2009) and Brahms’ “Variations on a Theme by Paganini,” Book 1, Op. 35 (1862-63).

”Two of the pieces are real highlights of the piano repertoire, and two are slightly unusual pieces that I find really wonderful,” he said.

Vogt said that, in his great love of piano repertoire, Schubert’s is a miraculous sonata, one which Schumann called one of his best works.

“It has lots of riddles to be solved by the performer, which is really true. It has a lot of peaceful sides to it, but within that piece it also somehow manically circles around itself. There is something quite philosophical about it,” said Vogt of the Austrian composer who died around the age of 30. “He had a particular way of saying what life is about, even when he was very ill.”

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