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Thu, 02 May



C. Bechstein Recital Series with Justine Gormley

C. Bechstein Centre Manchester presents... a night of 20th century piano works with award winning Irish pianist Justine Gormley!

C. Bechstein Recital Series with Justine Gormley
C. Bechstein Recital Series with Justine Gormley

Time & Location

02 May 2024, 18:15 – 20:00

Manchester, 7-9 Tib St, Manchester M4 1AD, UK

About the event

We are excited to be joined for the first time in our C. Bechstein Centre Manchester recital series by Justine Gormely.

This evening's program will be:

Bernstein: Four Anniversaries I. For Felicia Montealegre (1948)

‘For Felicia Montealegre’, the first piece within Four Anniversaries (1948) was an ode to the Chilean actress whom Bernstein met and fell in love with a day before her birthday on February 5th one year earlier. Their prompt engagement ended as quickly as it began, and the proposal was called off within the same year, which could explain the piece’s sense of love and longing.

Barber: Excursions I-IV, Op.20 (1945)

Excursions Op. 20 was the first solo piano piece which Barber published. Evoking contrasting scenes of American life, he uses classical forms combined with jazz, blues and folk styles culminating in a ‘hoe-down’ in the final act.

Glass: Etude No.2 (1995)

‘Etude No.2’ is written in Glass’ recognisable minimalist style, featuring a repeated quaver motif, and a time signature which oscillates between 7/8 and 4/4. The melody can be heard in bell-like octaves at both high and low registers of the piano.

Villa Lobos: Ciclo Brasileiro, W374 I. and II. (1936)

Ciclo Brasileiro (‘Brazilian Cycle’) is a group of four pieces dedicated to Villa-Lobos’ second partner at the beginning of their relationship. The cycle is characterised by romanticism, and each piece acts as a musical image of Brazil’s landscapes, culture, or musical styles.

Grant Still: Three Visions II. Summerland (1935)

William Grant Still’s Three Visions is a three movement work composed for his wife Verna Arvey. According to the composer’s daughter, the movements, entitled ‘Dark Horsemen’, ‘Summerland’, and ‘Radiant Pinnacle’ depict elements of death, devine judgement, entry into heaven, and possible reincarnation. The second movement, ‘Summerland’ links to a theosophical and pagan view of Heaven, wherein souls rest before being reincarnated.

Gershwin/ Wild: Seven Virtuoso Etudes based on Gershwin Songs III. IV. VI. (1976)

The Virtuoso Etudes, originally composed in 1954, and revised in 1976, are Earl Wild’s transcriptions of popular jazz songs written by Gershwin. ‘The Man I Love’ in its 1954 form was composed for left hand alone, and was reworked for both hands in its revision. Gershwin’s songs ‘Embraceable You’ and ‘I Got Rhythm’ were included in the musical, Girl Crazy. Wild’s ‘Embraceable You’, like many of the etudes, includes glittering passage-work, without comprising the character of the song. ‘I Got Rhythm’ uses a jazz chord progression known as ‘rhythm changes’ and is characterised by syncopated rhythms. Earl Wild’s rendition of the song finishes with a prestissimo coda.

About Justine:

Justine Gormley, from Belfast, discovered her love of music when she was found as a toddler playing nursery rhymes by ear on the family piano. A recipient of one of the coveted Irish Heritage awards following a successful performance at Wigmore Hall, Justine has performed with the Ulster Orchestra under the baton of David Brophy and has broadcast multiple times on BBC radio Ulster. Keen on both solo and chamber music, she has performed alongside internationally renowned artists such as Ailish Tynan, Michel Lethiec, Henri Demarquette and Richard Watkins at highly respected festivals such as Clandeboye Music Festival, and Belfast Music Society Chamber Music Festival. Justine is currently studying as an ABRSM scholar with Kathryn Stott on the RNCM’s Postgraduate Diploma programme. Amongst her mentors are also John Gough and Barry Douglas, whom she met through her involvement with the Camerata Ireland Academy.

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