The Poetry of Places (mixed periods version, 75 minutes)

A recital featuring 19th, 20th, and 21st century compositions inspired by architecture.

  • With the setting sun backlighting the backdrop of the skyline of lower Manhattan, Shpachenko delivered a pleasing concert of music written about architecture… Shpachenko’s playing matched the verve of the writing, and she was in tune with the subtle but substantial sensitivity in the music… The music was full of unexpected passion and turmoil… There was terrific, thrusting energy… Through Shpachenko’s fluid performance the piece was easily heard as absolute music, an exploration of how rhythms, phrases, dynamics, and excellent counterpoint all work together to make invisible structures…

    George Grella, New York Classical Review
  • The sextet of accomplished composers worked with solitary houses on lakeside islands, an anomalous monolith in Dhaka, the world’s oldest extant building, the complex interior of Aaron Copland’s home, and a unique art museum. How these composers conceived these structures in sound, whether giving them literal measurements or spiritual ideas – that was the challenge of this music, nearly all of it dedicated to Ms. Shpachenko herself. They couldn’t have chosen a more apt executant… Ms. Shpachenko played not only these six very different concepts, but she added a toy piano and – in a beautiful croon – her own voice… The result was something magical, a vision which transcended building and, like any art, put us in the mood… truly original… mysterious and touching…

    Harry Rolnick, ConcertoNet.com
  • We’re living in a time of great stylistic plurality, a time when certain older systems of composing have lost the sway they once enjoyed and new ones haven’t quite arisen to take their place. Shpachenko helped show that — there are definitely styles that she didn’t have room to feature, but no two of the works she played take the same approach to melody, harmony, and form… It was a fitting reminder that masterworks do come out of this bubble and strife, and a subtle affirmation that some things being written now may well be touchstones of the repertoire in another ninety years.

    Brin Solomon, New Classic LA

(please scroll down for full program information, sneak peaks, images of the buildings, program notes, and more)

Program

Franz Liszt La Chapelle de Guillaume Tell from Années de Pèlerinage, Book I – Switzerland (1855) …7 minutes

Harold Meltzer In Full Sail (2016, rev. 2017) …8 minutes

Claude Debussy Pagodes from Estampes (1903) …6 minutes

Amy Beth Kirsten h.o.p.e. (2016) …6 minutes

Hannah Lash Give Me Your Songs (2016) …7 minutes

Modest Mussorgsky The Great Gate of Kiev from Pictures at an Exhibition (1874) …5 minutes

Intermission

Lewis Spratlan Bangladesh (2015) …13 minutes

Heitor Villa-Lobos New York Skyline Melody, W 407 (1939) …3 minutes

James Matheson Alone, in Waters Shimmering and Dark in 3 movements (2016) …5-8 minutes

Jack Van Zandt Sí an Bhrú (2016) …11 minutes

Anton Arensky An der Quelle from The Fountain of Bakhchisaray, Op. 46, No. 1 (1899) …4 minutes

Bonus/Encore:

Darius Milhaud Tango des Fratellini from Le Boeuf sur le Toit, Op. 58 (1899) …2 minutes

Live Video Sample (21st century)

Watch the 2 minute preview of
“The Poetry of Places” program

Live Audio Sample (19th century)

Listen to the live performance of Arensky’s
“The Fountain of Bakhchisaray”

Franz Liszt (1811-1886)
La Chapelle de Guillaume Tell from Années de Pèlerinage, Book I – Switzerland (1855)

William Tell’s Chapel in Lucerne, Switzerland

Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
Pagodes from Estampes (1903)

Pagodas in East Asia

Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881)
The Great Gate of Kiev from Pictures at an Exhibition (1874)

Viktor Hartmann’s painting The Great Gates of Kiev

Lewis Spratlan (b. 1940)
Bangladesh for solo piano (2015)
(premiered on Oct. 27, 2015 at REDCAT/Disney Hall, Piano Spheres Series)

Inspired by architect Louis Kahn’s National Assembly Buildings in Dhaka, Bangladesh

  • It’s so thrilling to hear one’s music totally understood and projected, but, moreover, to hear the flowering of ideas that only occurs when the performer expands on the given and invests it with her own life experience and art. I’m forever grateful for this wonderful recording of Bangladesh.

    Lewis Spratlan

Harold Meltzer (b. 1966)
In Full Sail for solo piano (2016, rev. 2017)
(premiered on May 20, 2016 at Boston Court, Piano Spheres/Music @ BC Series)

Inspired by architect Frank Gehry’s IAC Building in Manhattan, NY

  • Nadia’s amazing performance of my In Full Sail fuses her remarkable virtuosity with uncommon understanding of what the music needs expressively. The performance always moves forward, even as she contemplates and pirouettes beautifully. It has been an ideal collaboration.

    Harold Meltzer

Amy Beth Kirsten (b. 1972)
h.o.p.e. for piano, toy piano, and voice (one performer) (2016). Premiered on January 7, 2016 at the New Music Gathering in Baltimore.

Inspired by the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore and it’s exhibit The Big Hope Show

  • Nadia’s performance of h.o.p.e. is like a prayer; she breathes into the music an inner warmth and fragility that, to me, is heartbreakingly beautiful.

    Amy Beth Kirsten

Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959)
New York Skyline Melody, W 407 (1939)

New York Skyline

Anton Arensky (1861-1906)
An der Quelle from The Fountain of Bakhchisaray (1899)

The Fountain of Tears at the Khan Palace in Bakhchisaray, Crimea

Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Tango des Fratellini from Le Boeuf sur le Toit (1920)

The Ox on the Roof Bar in Paris, France

Hannah Lash (b. 1981)
Give Me Your Songs for solo piano (2016). Premiered on May 20, 2016 at Boston Court, Piano Spheres/Music @ BC Series.

Inspired by the Aaron Copland House in Cortlandt, NY

  • Nadia breathes a spectacularly sensitive life into my piece Give Me Your Songs, perfectly evoking both its childlike affect and its darker implications. Her playing is utterly gorgeous, and she interprets the music with rare insight: penetrating, illuminating.

    Hannah Lash

James Matheson (b. 1970)
Alone, in Waters Shimmering and Dark for solo piano (2016). Premiered on June 24, 2016 at Bargemusic in New York, Here and Now Series.

Inspired by the House on Island in Pine Plains, NY

  • As always, Nadia’s performance is as great as a composer can hope for – virtuosic, luminous, musical and totally committed.

    James Matheson

Jack Van Zandt (b. 1954)
Sí an Bhrú for piano and electronics (2016)
(premiered on May 20, 2016 at Boston Court, Piano Spheres/Music @ BC Series)

Inspired by Newgrange, a 5,000 year old Ancient Temple in Ireland constructed during the Neolithic period, around 3,200 BCE

  • Nadia’s professionalism, musicianship, technique and attention to detail are second to none. She is so passionate and emotional in her performances, and she “feels” every note and plays with such heart. Working with Nadia is a true partnership and she takes my music to a level I couldn’t even imagine when writing it. It’s really a dream come true for a composer.

    Jack Van Zandt

This program is performed in two versions: the mixed periods program above, or the 21st century program of new piano (and toy piano) works inspired by diverse buildings, all written for Nadia Shpachenko’s project

Click here for 21st century program

Click here for program notes and composer bios (new pieces)