Device is incompatible to play the video
Friday, 26 February 2021, 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Online Lecture

Russian Piano Masterpieces: Stravinsky

Professor Marina Frolova-Walker FBA, Peter Donohoe CBE

Stravinsky’s solo piano output may be modest in size, but it contains one of the absolute pinnacles of piano virtuosity, the Three Pieces from Petrushka. To call these pieces “arrangements” from the ballet score would be true, but misleading: they are brilliant recompositions from the ballet’s material, stranger and more elusive, and with the added dimension of extreme virtuosity (he was never brave enough to give a public performance himself). 

Unlike many composers, Stravinsky always wrote his music at the piano, and the feel of chords-under-fingers, pushing against each other, overlapping and colliding goes a long way towards explaining the unique harmonic imagination that still has an international influence that stretches far beyond the confines of modernist classical music. Where the Romantics had turned the piano from a complex machine into a living, breathing musical being, Stravinsky wanted to unpick the illusion, and bring the mechanical aspects to the fore. He often sought to bypass the pianist’s predilection for “expression”, and even turned to pianolas for a time, which dispense with the need for a performer altogether. 

The clockwork character of his writing tends to dehumanise his source materials, whether these happen to be Russian folksongs, Baroque and Classical idioms or the latest jazz. Where does this leave a pianist who is prepared to meet this challenge?


Watch Online Lecture

MFW-picture_B&W-370x370.png

Marina Frolova-Walker is Gresham Professor of Music. She is a Russian-born British musicologist and music historian. She is Professor of Music History and Director of Studies in Music at Clare College, Cambridge. 

Professor Marina Frolova-Walker is a specialist in the Russian music of the 19th and 20th centuries. She has published extensively on Russian music and is a well-known lecturer and broadcaster for BBC Radio 3. Among her many awards and appointments, she is a Fellow of the British Academy and was awarded the Edward Dent Medal in 2015 by the Royal Musical Association for her achievements in musicology. 

She was appointed as Visiting Gresham Professor of Russian Music in 2018-19. 

You can find more information on Marina and her research interests here: https://www.marinafrolova-walker.com/

Professor Frolova-Walker's lecture series are as follows:

2020/21 Russian Piano Masterpieces

2019/20 Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes

2018/19 Russian Opera and the State (as Visiting Gresham Professor of Russian Music)

All lectures by the Gresham Professors of Music can be accessed here.

Read More
Read Less
speaker_peterdonohue-370x370.jpg

Peter Donohoe CBE is one of Britain’s foremost pianists, whose international career was launched by his success at the 1982 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. Since then, he has performed at the world’s major venues, including the Hollywood Bowl, the Sydney Opera House and the Teatro Colón, collaborating with conductors such as Simon Rattle, Yevgeni Svetlanov and Gustavo Dudamel, and he has appeared at the BBC Proms a remarkable twenty-two times. 

In the course of his forty-year career, Russian music has always been at the core of his huge repertoire. His highly acclaimed recordings include all the Tchaikovsky concertos, all the Scriabin sonatas, all the Rachmaninov preludes, all the Prokofiev sonatas, Stravinsky’s music for piano solo and with orchestra, and all the Shostakovich sonatas, concertos and preludes and fugues.

Read More
Read Less
Related Future Lectures
Related Past Lectures
WATCHED
Part of a series

Russian Piano Masterpieces: Prokofiev

Professor Marina Frolova-Walker FBA
Thursday, 25 March 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

BBC Radio in the Digital Era (1982–)

Professor Jeremy Summerly
Thursday, 15 April 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Space Sounds: The Music of the Cosmos

Professor Roberto Trotta
Monday, 26 April 2021 - 1:00PM
WATCHED

Cyborg Piano: Magnetic Resonator Piano

Dr Xenia Pestova Bennett
Wednesday, 28 April 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Myra Hindley: Rape-Murderers

Professor Joanna Bourke FBA
Thursday, 13 May 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Russian Piano Masterpieces: Shostakovich

Professor Marina Frolova-Walker FBA
Thursday, 20 May 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Far From Hollywood: New Kinds of Classic Film

Professor Ian Christie FBA
Monday, 15 February 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Mata Hari: Femme Fatales

Professor Joanna Bourke FBA
Thursday, 11 February 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

England’s Tudor Reformation

Professor Alec Ryrie FBA
Wednesday, 3 February 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

BBC Radio in the LP Era (1948–1982)

Professor Jeremy Summerly
Thursday, 28 January 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Russian Piano Masterpieces: Scriabin

Professor Marina Frolova-Walker FBA
Thursday, 21 January 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

What Makes a Film Classic?

Professor Ian Christie FBA
Monday, 18 January 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Russian Piano Masterpieces: Shostakovich

Professor Marina Frolova-Walker FBA
Thursday, 20 May 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Russian Piano Masterpieces: Prokofiev

Professor Marina Frolova-Walker FBA
Thursday, 25 March 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Russian Piano Masterpieces: Scriabin

Professor Marina Frolova-Walker FBA
Thursday, 21 January 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Russian Piano Masterpieces: Rachmaninov

Professor Marina Frolova-Walker FBA
Thursday, 26 November 2020 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Russian Piano Masterpieces: Musorgsky

Professor Marina Frolova-Walker FBA
Thursday, 24 September 2020 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Diaghilev and Prokofiev: Return to Emotion

Professor Marina Frolova-Walker FBA
Tuesday, 12 May 2020 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Russian Piano Masterpieces: Shostakovich

Professor Marina Frolova-Walker FBA
Thursday, 20 May 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Russian Piano Masterpieces: Prokofiev

Professor Marina Frolova-Walker FBA
Thursday, 25 March 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Russian Piano Masterpieces: Scriabin

Professor Marina Frolova-Walker FBA
Thursday, 21 January 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Russian Piano Masterpieces: Rachmaninov

Professor Marina Frolova-Walker FBA
Thursday, 26 November 2020 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Russian Piano Masterpieces: Musorgsky

Professor Marina Frolova-Walker FBA
Thursday, 24 September 2020 - 6:00PM