While my “weekend preview” article may have given the impression that this coming Sunday was already abounding with tempting alternatives, I am afraid I have to add a last-minute option to those alternatives. This Sunday afternoon Keith Porter-Snell will be returning to the Old First Concerts series at Old First Church to present an all-new program of piano music for the left hand alone. This program will feature the United States premiere of Stephen Hough’s sonata for cello and left-handed piano, which the composer first performed at the piano with cellist Steven Isserlis this past October. This is a single-movement sonata in three sections with shared motivic material. Hough has given this sonata the title “Les Adieux;” and, over the course of eighteen minutes the music conjures up the ghosts (as the composer puts it) of Ludwig van Beethoven and Jan Ladislav Dussek.
Porter-Snell will also perform two left-hand compositions by Alexander Scriabin, a prelude and a nocturne, as well as Erwin Schulhoff’s third piano suite, also composed for the left hand. Finally, Porter-Snell concluded his last Old First recital, in August of 2012, with twelve short preludes by Kathleen Ryan, each titled with a single verb. For this Sunday’s recital, Porter-Snell will perform the second book of twelve preludes, thus completing the entire collection of preludes in each of the major and minor keys (which Ryan entitled simply Verbs).
Old First Concerts events take place in the Old First Presbyterian Church at 1751 Sacramento Street (on the southeast corner of Van Ness Avenue). This recital will be held on Sunday, April 13, at 4 p.m. General admission is $17 with a special $14 rate for seniors aged 65 and older and $5 for full-time students. (Children aged twelve and under are admitted without charge.) Tickets may be purchased through the event page on the Old First Concerts Web site. Further information may be obtained by calling 415-474-1608.