The Cliburn festival played great swaths of Frédéric Chopin’s piano music last March, but there’s still much greatness left in his body of work, which is why Piano Texas has gone mostly all-in for the Polish master this summer. This Friday, Piotr Paleczny performs the first three of Chopin’s four scherzos, blackly humorous pieces that see the composer indulging his macabre side. These are balanced out by the Prelude in B minor and the “Raindrop” Prelude, plus the towering masterpiece that is Chopin’s Third Sonata. On Saturday, Dina Yoffe varies things a bit by playing both Chopin’s complete Op. 28 Preludes and Scriabin’s Op. 11 Preludes, pieces that are heavily influenced by Chopin but point to the weird directions that the Russian composer would take later.
Later on, the festival will close with Arie Vardi playing mazurkas by Chopin and others (it’s hard for non-Polish pianists to get the tricky 3/4 rhythm of the dance) and Dang Thai Son juxtaposing Chopin’s piano music with Ravel’s highly coloristic works. Lio Kuokman will conduct the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra along with the winners of the festival’s concerto competitions.
Piano Texas runs thru Jun 21 at TCU, PepsiCo Recital Hall and Ed Landreth Auditorium, 2800 S University Dr, FW. Tickets are $25-30. Call 817-257-7602.