THE LISNEY TRIO
Emma Lisney – violin
Joy Lisney – cello
James Lisney – piano
with
Michael Whight – clarinet

Beethoven – Trio in B flat, Op 97, ‘Archduke’

Messiaen – Quartet for the End of Time

9 March 2020 7.45pm, Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre


Two chamber works, which carry a momentous emotional weight, composed almost 150 years apart comprise this programme performed by The Lisney Trio with clarinettist Michael Whight.

The premiere of Beethoven’s Trio in B flat, opus 97, ‘Archduke’, in 1814 was one of the composer’s final public performances as pianist. Completed in 1811 and dedicated to the Archduke Rudolph of Austria – a fine amateur pianist, patron, friend and composition student of Beethoven  – this trio is one of fourteen of Beethoven’s works dedicated to the youngest son of Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor. It is a fine example of Beethoven’s heroic style and its perfect combination of brilliance, grandeur and profundity have ensured its central place in the trio repertoire.

Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time premiered in January 1941 at Stalag VIIIA, a prisoner of war camp in Görlitz, Germany. The composer dedicated the work ‘in homage to the Angel of the Apocalypse, who raises his hand towards Heaven saying “There shall be no more time.”’ From an evocation of morning birdsong, through fiercely concentrated and rhythmically complex dance music, the music intensifies to depictions of the coming cataclysm. Two songs of praise (‘Louanges’) are offered up, oases of extraordinary calm marked ‘infinitely slow’ and ‘tender, ecstatic’.

The Lisney Trio, comprising the members of a family that sustain distinguished international careers as soloists, are joined by renowned clarinettist Michael Whight for this recital of two of the most significant chamber works of the past two centuries.

Monday 9 March 7.45pm, Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall at London’s Southbank Centre

BOOK TICKETS

 


James Lisney returns to the Purcell Room on 19 May for a concert as part of his international tour exploring the notion of ‘Late Style’ and creative maturity through the late masterworks of three composers who are particularly close to his heart – Haydn, Beethoven and Schubert – uplifting, communicative music of enduring appeal.

“a breathtaking interpretation of some of the last works of the great composers”
Seen and Heard International

Further information and tickets

‘….Petits Concerts’, a series of convivial recitals at the 1901 Arts Club, an intimate salon style venue just a stone’s throw from Waterloo Station, returns for a second season, commencing on 30th September.

Inspired by concerts given by Charles-Valentin Alkan at the Erard showroom in Paris in the 1870s, and hosted by concert pianist James Lisney, ….Petits Concerts brings musicians together in the spirit of “music with friends and amongst friends” in a setting which harks back to the 19th-century European cultural salon. Proceeds from each concert will be donated to music/education charities.

This second season opens with a concert by James Lisney exploring the notion of ‘Late Style’ through the lens of late piano music by four composers who are particularly close to his heart – Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert and Chopin. Proceeds from the concert will be donated to The Amber Trust, a charity which helps blind and partially sighted children across the UK who have a talent or love for music, of which James Lisney is a patron.

Later concerts in the series include performances by James Lisney with his daughters Emma and Joy in piano trios by Beethoven, and on 11 November the Lisneys are joined by clarinettist Michael Whight for Olivier Messiaen’s monumental and profound Quartet for the End of Time.

Full details and tickets

Previous concerts in the series have proved very popular and as this is a small venue, early booking is recommended


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From 2pm on the afternoon of each concert James Lisney will be giving piano lessons at the 1901 Arts Club from 2pm. Lessons cost £100 for 90 mins with proceeds going to charity. For further information or to book a lesson, contact James Lisney

 

 

a breathtaking interpretation of some of the last works of the great composers
Seen and Heard International


What is ‘Late Style’? It’s a question that has preoccupied writers and thinkers, from Theodor Adorno, who coined the term in relation to Beethoven’s late music, to Edward Said, whose book ‘On Late Style’ explores the output of composer, artists and writers in the later years of their creative lives.

We expect the late works of composers (and writers and artists) to be concerned with valedictory thoughts, of resolution and acceptance, that age and ill-health bring a state of serenity or resignation. Yet many composers’  late work is often intransigent, challenging and contradictory, inventive and transcendent.

Late style is also associated with an aesthetic mastery and a distillation of what matters most, as if an awareness that the end may be near has the effect of really concentrating the artistic focus. Beethoven, for example, reveals in his late piano sonatas an intense heroism, otherworldliness and non-conformity. For Adorno, Beethoven’s late works are an emphatic and triumphant assertion of his refusal to resolve life’s exigencies peacefully, a view which Edward Said endorses, regarding it as a strength in its own right, rather than a negative factor in Beethoven’s late music.

For Schubert and Chopin, both of whom died young (by today’s standards), lateness is relative, almost a philosophical construct. The “late” works of these composers demonstrate that lateness is not just about physical or creative maturity, but also an attitude of mind. In their music there is the sense of life lived with intensity, that time is finite and there is much more to say, and this seems to have focused these composers’ imaginations in a very specific way.

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James Lisney

‘Endgame’, a series of concerts by British pianist James Lisney, at venues in the UK, the Netherlands, Germany and the Czech Republic, explores the notion of Late Style through the lens of four composers who are particularly close to Lisney’s heart – Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert and Chopin. These recitals include some of the best-loved, most intriguing and satisfying music of these composers’ late output.

‘Endgame’ continues throughout 2020 at St George’s Bristol, West Road Concert Hall Cambridge, Southbank Centre London and Rudolfinum Prague

Full details on James Lisney’s website

Meet the Artist interview with James Lisney

I have nothing but praise for James Lisney`s piano playing; he combines velvet touch and wide range of colour with complete understanding of phrasing and dynamic shading. This is someone who can really give the mechanical box of wires and wood a singing soul.

The Telegraph

 

‘Petits Concerts’ is a new series of recitals at the 1901 Arts Club, a salon style venue just a stone’s throw from Waterloo Station. Inspired by concerts given by Charles-Valentin Alkan at the Erard showroom in Paris in the 1870s, and hosted by concert pianist James Lisney, Petits Concerts brings musicians together in the spirit of “music with friends and amongst friends” in an intimate setting which harks back to the 19th-century European cultural salon. Proceeds from each concert will be donated to musical/education charities.

Petits Concerts II – Chopin and Schubert

Petits Concerts III – Joy, Emma & James Lisney

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In addition, James Lisney will be giving piano lessons at the 1901 Arts Club from 2pm on the afternoon of each concert. Lessons cost £100 for 90 mins with proceeds going to charity. For further information or to book a lesson, contact James Lisney