From Medieval to Modern with Jeremy Denk

JeremyDenkpianist3:00 pm • Sunday, April 30th 2017
Union College Memorial Chapel • Schenectady, NY

Along our Hudson River this weekend there are a variety of offerings for consideration … from an organ recital devoted to St. Francis of Assisi to Beethoven’s Ninth to a scattering of chamber and vocal concerts. Yet as I am a long-time fan of the imaginative Jeremy Denk—one of America’s foremost pianists, prolific writer, and MacArthur “genius grant” winner—I point you to the closing concert of Union College Concert Series‘ 2016-17 season.

As a regional favorite Jeremy Denk is no stranger to the Memorial Chapel stage as has performed pretty regularly for the Union College Concert Series over the past fifteen years. For Sunday afternoon’s recital, he’ll be weaving a story via the keyboard that charts Western musical history through—as Denk notes*—its “many twists and turns, its seeming dead ends and sudden epiphanies.”

The program, entitled “Medieval to Modern,” begins in the 1300s and 1400s with works by Guillaume de Machaut, Gilles Binchois, and Jean de Ockeghem. It continues through the Renaissance (with Byrd, Gesualdo, Montedverdi) to the wonders of Domenico Scarlatti and J.S. Bach. Of course masters such as W.A. Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven are represented before moving the storyline to the worlds of Robert Schumann, Frédéric Chopin, Franz Liszt, and Johannes Brahms.

From the world of tonality, Denk arrives to the interesting aspects of Modernism with works by Arnold Schoenberg, Claude Debussy, and Igor Stravinsky. As good stories develop, Denk’s comes to divergent points, and he offers us works of Karlheinz Stockhausen, Philip Glass, and György Ligeti.

Jeremy Denk’s ebullient playing executed with great intelligence along with his endearing “nerd speak” will keep you on the edge of your seat. I promise he’ll wrap up the 80-minute journey through Western musical history back ‘round such that Sunday’s concert will be an extremely intriguing and satisfying way to bring the weekend to a close. Happy Musicking!

* For notes on the program (from the Lincoln Center White Light Festival concert on November 16, 2016), click here. Sunday’s selections may be subject to change.

Upcoming Events

  • Hudson Valley Philharmonic: “The Ninth” | Haydn, Beethoven
  • Ulster Performing Arts Center (UPAC), Kingston (NY)
    Saturday, April 29th 2017 at 8:00 pm

  • Hudson-Mohawk Chorale: “The Splendor of Beauty” | Rutter, Ginsburg, Ades, Fedak
  • St. George’s Episcopal Church, Clifton Park, NY
    Sunday, April 30th 2017 at 3:00 pm

  • Rhinebeck Chamber Music Society: Claremont Trio | Shostakovich, Smetana, Beethoven
  • The Church of the Messiah, Rhinebeck, NY
    Sunday, April 30th 2017 at 3:00 pm

  • Ulster Chamber Music Series: Atlantic Guitar Quartet
  • Church of the Holy Cross, Kingston, NY
    Sunday, April 30th 2017 at 3:00 pm

  • Union College Concerts: Jeremy Denk, piano | Machaut, Byrd, Chopin, Schoenberg, Ligeti, and more
  • Union College Memorial Chapel, Schenectady, NY
    Sunday, April 30th 2017 at 3:00 pm

  • “WMHT Live!”: Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center | Harbison, Previn, Bolcom, O’Connor, Gershwin
  • WMHT-FM (Radio Broadcasts), Troy, NY
    Sunday, April 30th 2017 at 6:00 pm

  • Elizabeth Lehmann, contralto, with pianist Michael Clement: “Count Your Blessings” | Brahms, Debussy, Fauré, Berlin, Horner and more
  • Massry Center for the Arts at The College of Saint Rose, Albany, NY
    Saturday, May 6th 2017 at 2:00 pm

  • Albany Pro Musica with mezzo Lucille Beer & Capital District Youth Chorale: “The Armed Man” | Jenkins
  • EMPAC at RPI, Troy, NY
    Saturday, May 6th 2017 at 7:30 pm

  • Troy Chromatic Concerts: Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio | Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky
  • Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, NY
    Sunday, May 7th 2017 at 3:00 pm

  • Cooperstown Music Festival: Chesis-Reed-Zori-Kalish | Beethoven, Ewazen, Brahms
  • Otesaga Resort Hotel, Cooperstown, NY
    Sunday, May 7th 2017 at 4:00 pm