Joe plays Barrios Mangoré on the piano

Joe plays Barrios Mangoré on the piano

At the Third Thursday @ Twelve Thirty on 17 November 2016 Joe Laredo entertained on the piano with some well-known tunes and some not-so-well-known!

What a treat this lunchtime concert was!  Sanctuary from a wet and blustery November day.

Joe’s thoughtful programme gave us the familiarity of Bach, Mozart and Chopin and then came the unfamiliar music of Nazareth, Barrios Mangoré and Chaminade.  It was an education and a delight.  Coupled with Joe’s excellent programme notes, see below, we had just the right amount of information to whet our appetite for more and to appreciate the pieces played.

Joe Laredo plays piano

Joe Laredo plays piano

Prelude no. 1 in C major (BWV 846) - Bach

Sonata in C major (K330) - Mozart
(Allegro moderato,  Andante cantabile (F major), Allegretto)

Waltz in C# minor (op. 64 no. 2) - Chopin

Waltz ‘Confidências’ in A minor - Nazareth

‘La Catedral’ in B minor - Barrios Mangoré  (arr. Laredo) world premiere
(Preludio saudade, Andante religioso, Allegro solemne)

Serenade in D major - Chaminade            

We had an audience of just over 30 and donations for the upkeep of the organ amounted to £38.45 – Thank you Joe and everyone else there!

Words by Lesley Salter, Photos by Richard Hearne

Programme notes by Joe Laredo:

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750)

In 1722, Bach composed 24 Preludes and Fugues in all the major and minor keys “for the profit and use of musical youth desirous of learning, and especially for the pastime of those already skilled in this study”. The first of these is in the ‘easy’ key of C major (actually the hardest to play in!) and consists of a series of arpeggiated (broken) chords, originally intended to test the tuning of an instrument. It has become one of Bach’s best-known and most often played pieces. In 1959 it appeared in a jazzed-up version as the opening track of the first recording by the Jacques Loussier Trio.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–91)

Mozart completed 18 sonatas for piano solo (and five more for piano duet), four of them in C major. Number 10 (the third in that key) was composed in 1783, when Mozart was 27. All three movements are in ‘sonata form’, with an exposition, development and recapitulation, followed by a short coda. As its name suggests, the recapitulation (‘recap’) is almost identical to the exposition, but there are some changes of key and other variations – see if you can spot them. Again as you would expect, the development develops the themes heard in the exposition, and that of the second movement plunges unexpectedly into F minor, a key Mozart reserved for his most intimate confessions.

Frédéric Chopin (1810–49)

It is believed that Chopin wrote at least 36 Waltzes, but only 19 have survived. The three Waltzes published as his opus 64 were written in 1847, just two years before he died. The second of these has become one of his most popular pieces, despite its decidedly ‘uncatchy’ main theme. Its structure is ABACAB, the B section characterised by running quavers in the right hand and the C section, in Db major, featuring a song-like, and typically Chopinesque, melody.

Ernesto Júlio de Nazareth (1863–1934)

Nazareth was born in Rio de Janeiro and was initially taught the piano by his mother. The first of his hundreds of piano pieces was published when he was 14, which was also the age at which he started playing the piano professionally, though he didn’t make his concert debut until more than twenty years later. The Waltz entitled Confidências (Confidences) was published in 1913 and typically combines wistfulness and wit.

Agustin Pio Barrios Mangoré (1885–1944)

Born in Paraguay, Mangoré became famous as a guitarist (he was one of the first classical guitarists to be recorded), but his 300 or more compositions for the guitar remained virtually unknown until thirty years after his death. The suite La Catedral is widely regarded as his finest work. When it appeared in 1921, it had only two sections, the Andante and Allegro, supposedly representing the sound of an organ being played in a cathedral and the hustle and bustle of the city outside. Mangoré added the Preludio 17 years later. The music is clearly inspired by Bach, particularly in the Preludio, which could almost be a reworking of the Prelude heard at the beginning of this programme.

Cécile Louise Stéphanie Chaminade (1857–1944)

Like Mangoré, Paris-born Chaminade became famous as a performer, and her concert career took her to England, where her music was especially popular, and the USA. As a composer, she was obliged to study secretly, as her father disapproved of her musical ambitions, but at the age of 8 she managed to impress Bizet with a piece of sacred music and in 1903 she became the first woman composer to receive the Légion d’honneur. Nevertheless, after her death, her 200 or more compositions, mostly for piano, were largely forgotten and they have only recently started to become popular again. The Serenade in D, published in 1884, is characteristically melodious, with a few harmonic surprises along the way.