The Geistervariationen was Schumann’s last piano work before his incarceration in the mental hospital where he later died: variations on a melody he believed had been dictated to him by spirits. The Davidsbundlertänze offers contrast with its lively characterisation.
Next, Cooper matches works by Wagner and the composer who was both his greatest influence and his father-in-law, Franz Liszt.
Wagner’s Elegy is set against some of Liszt’s poetic evocations of Italy from Années de Pélérinage. His La lugubre gondola is a ghostly depiction of Venice, where Wagner died; and Cooper frames it with Liszt's transcription of Prelude and Liebestod from Wagner’s opera Tristan und Isolde, forming a transcendental conclusion.
- Schumann: Theme and variations in E flat, WoO.24 (Ghost Variations)
- Schumann: Davidsbündlertänze, Op.6
- Liszt: Sposalizio from Années de pèlerinage
- Liszt: Il Penseroso from Années de pèlerinage
- Liszt: Canzonetta del Salvator Rosa from Années de pèlerinage
- Liszt: Sonetto 104 del Petrarca from Années de pèlerinage
- Wagner: Elegy in A flat
- Wagner: Prelude from Tristan transc. Kocsis
- Liszt: La lugubre gondola, S.200 (vers.1)
- Wagner: Liebestod from Tristan transc. Liszt
Please arrive on time as latecomers may not be admitted.
St John's Smith Square, Westminster
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