ANDREA LUCCHESINI and GIOVANNI BIETTTI
The Sonata between cycles and narrations
Music by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Liszt, Bartok
In the history of music, the keyboard sonata is one of the most mysterious and fascinating genres. For much of the 18th century its identity was so ill-defined that it was often called by different names: Esercizio, by Domenico Scarlatti, or Divertimento, by Haydn, to name but two particularly significant examples. But at the beginning of the 19th century, thanks above all to the prestige of Beethoven's extraordinary corpus, the term sonata came to be used to define the most important piano genre. Even its classical tone and codified formal rules did not prevent all the great Romantic composers - from Schubert to Chopin and Liszt, from Schumann to Mendelssohn, Brahms and even Wagner - from measuring themselves against the piano sonata. Still in the last century, great composers such as Berg, Stravinsky, Bartók, Hindemith, Prokofiev and many others wrote sonatas, which are invariably among their most ambitious piano compositions.
In the course of this astonishing evolution, the piano sonata has undergone many transformations, which at times even coexist in the production of the same composer: from a private to a great public genre, from an intimate and even didactic writing to a virtuoso gesture, from an entertaining tone to a speculative character, from the most daring experimentation to a neoclassical revival. Yet few other instrumental genres have maintained such a strong aesthetic coherence over the centuries: a Beethoven sonata dialogues in depth with Mozart and Liszt, just as Bartók speaks, in his sonata, as much to Haydn as to Beethoven himself.
The aim of this artistic project is precisely to bring to light, through the interaction of words and music, the richness of the dialogues across time between the great composers. By juxtaposing, explaining and performing masterpieces from different eras, Andrea Lucchesini and Giovanni Bietti intend to propose a new, richer and more conscious way of listening to the sonata, and thus to approach the genre that still today constitutes the heart of the piano repertoire.
Giovanni Bietti, November 2020