Mind and matter: Marc-André Hamelin
Pianist Marc-André Hamelin earned his wings as a whiz-bang barnstormer, programming and recording largely forgotten works by the likes of Alkan, Godowsky, and Medtner that call out for technical fireworks. In recent years, however, he has seemed intent on putting forward a different side of his musical personality, with music whose virtuosity is centered more in the mind than in the fingers, to the extent that such a distinction can honestly be made. On Thursday, July 30, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival presents him in a noon recital at the St. Francis Auditorium in the New Mexico Museum of Art (107 W. Palace Ave.). His program focuses on one of the major “thinking man’s” works in the piano repertoire, Schubert’s Piano Sonata in B-flat major, D.960. This sublime, transcendent sonata was Schubert’s last entry in that genre, completed on September 26, 1828, less than two months before his untimely death. Eking out the program is Yehudi Wyner’s Toward the Center, an 18-minute fantasy-style piece from 1988. Tickets ($10-$21) can be arranged by calling 505-982-1890 or through www.santafechambermusic.com. — J.M.K.