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PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS

 

Into the Night with GershwinTM

Come step into the night with some red hot jazz in blue. This fabulous music from the "Roaring Twenties" will have you swingin' like only Gershwin can! The legendary Morton Gould heard Thomas Pandolfi 's debut at Lincoln Center when the pianist was only 21, and proclaimed that he hadn't heard Gershwin played so spectacularly since the composer himself! A program you don't want to miss!"

 

One Singular NightTM Music of George Gershwin and Marvin Hamlisch

"If you love Gershwin, but need to have that Broadway fix too, this program is ideal! What could top a Singular Night Sensation other than mixing some Hamlisch together with Gershwin. And who knows....you might even hear a little Scott Joplin too! With Thomas Pandolfi at the keyboard, you can be assured that Nobody Does it Better!"

 

American Piano Patriotism

"We live in some difficult times, and there is nothing more soothing, inspirational and emotionally stirring than hearing some of your favorite American melodies and composers brought to life by the brilliant fingers of Thomas Pandolfi. If you're looking for a fabulous program around Memorial Day, Independence Day, Veterans Day, or simply want to include some terrific patriotic music of our nation in your programming for an upcoming season, then Thomas' renditions will leave a song in your heart and joy in your soul."

 

Holiday Spirit - Piano Works for the Season of Christmas

"Have you ever wondered how it would sound if a world class concert pianist interpreted music for the holidays? Well, your curiosity will be satisfied as you listen to favorites such as Sleigh Ride, White Christmas and Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy sparkle like bright snowflakes on the 88 keys! Beethoven's birthday is December 16th, so Thomas always includes a favorite sonata as the centerpiece of this marvelously entertaining program, and what is more, he lets you choose between the three most popular: "Pathetique", "Moonlight" or "Appassionata"! "Holiday Spirit" is popular, so be sure to make it a part of your season's December programming!"

 

Burt, Barry, and Beyond: The Music of Burt Bacharach and Barry Manilow

"It was common practice during the 19th century for great composer/pianists to compose elaborate piano transcriptions on the popular melodies of the day. Franz Liszt, the bad boy rock star of his time, relished in performing breathtaking fantasies and paraphrases on operatic themes, orchestral overtures, and lieder songs. Now in the 21st century, Thomas Pandolfi has taken some of the biggest hits from two of the most popular songwriters of the 20th century, and created his own piano magic with a modern twist."

 

Chairman of the Board A Sinatra Celebration

"Thomas is a big Sinatra fan, and can often be found listening to his Sinatra Pandora Station during moments of leisure. What is it about Ol' Blue Eyes that captured the hearts and earned the admiration of pop and classical musicians alike? Well, for one it was his amazing phrasing---one could hear the lyrics just as they should be sung. Thomas has often been cited as having a tone and touch at the piano that is vocal like, and a phrasing that is utterly logical---how many times it has been said that his piano speaks, sings, weeps, laughs and makes love to the notes. Pandolfi and Sinatra---total alluring "witchcraft!"

 

The Classics with a Touch of PoetryTM

"The first half of this program ("Classics") is devoted to three of the most celebrated and beloved classical composers: Mozart, Schubert and Beethoven. While Schubert lived all of his brief adult life during the 19th century, he was essentially a classicist, and many of his works, in essence, extend and "continue" Beethoven's thoughts, albeit with a greater focus on melodic content. Thomas Pandolfi has surrounded the charming Schubert Impromptu with two favorite sonatas, composed when both Mozart and Beethoven were each 27 years of age respectively. Following intermission, Thomas will fully immerse his audience in 19th century romanticism and poetry. Schumann was often influenced by extra musical ideas, in particular literature and poetry, and his music directly reflects those influences. Liszt is generally remembered for his stratospheric virtuosity, but his music could also be poetic and reflect influences that were loftier than pure pyrotechnics. Liebestraum No. 3 is not only one of the most familiar and beautiful of all melodies, but also based on text from a poem by Freiligrath about unconditional mature love, while the "Dante Sonata" is a major work of program music, inspired by the reading of Dante's most famous epic poem, the Divine Comedy.

 

Language of Infinity: Chopin

"George Sand once wrote about Chopin's music: 'The gift of Chopin is the expression of the deepest and fullest feelings and emotions that have ever existed. He made a single instrument speak a language of infinity.' The music of Chopin does indeed seem to penetrate the hearts of all who hear it in the most unique way, and this program highlights some of his most beloved works."

 

Gypsy Passages: Liszt

"Rock Star" of his day--- the "bad boy of Classical Music"! Got your attention? No one generated more charisma and animal magnetism than Franz Liszt. His music projects a stratospheric virtuosity, and yet impresses with a deep poetry as well. Moreover, some of his later works even foreshadow French Impressionism, and techniques utilized by later 20th C. composers. Be prepared to be dazzled, amazed and inspired by this program!

 

Russian Romance and The Movies

Imagine being a young composer and getting the long awaited phone call from film producers looking to incorporate one of your pieces as part of a soundtrack. These producers have big plans, though, and they ask you a near impossible task---make your piece sound just like Rachmaninov! Well, that is precisely what happened to the young British composer, Richard Addinsell, who went onto compose one of the most beloved piano works ever used in film---The Warsaw Concerto, and boy, does it ever sound like Rachmaninov! Romanticism equally fills the music of the great Russian masters Anton Rubinstein and Piotr Tchaikovsky. Rubinstein's Romance in E-Flat was so beloved, that it was turned into a popular song entitled, "If You Are But a Dream", and championed by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Robert Goulet and Mario Lanza. Those of you who remember the radio crime drama "The FBI in Peace and War" will recognize the theme music, which is actually Prokofiev's "March from The Love for Three Oranges"; Thomas Pandolfi will knock your socks off with his rendition of this rousing stride. Nothing is more seductively entertaining and alluring than the most famous spy of all---James Bond! Pandolfi, Thomas Pandolfi, will beguile you with a brilliant paraphrase on themes from all of the Bond movies, including "The Spy Who Loves Me", and "From Russia With Love."

 

Polish Masters

Poland has produced a plethora of great pianists, including Ignace Jan Paderewski, Leopold Godowsky, Josef Hofmann, Artur Rubinstein, and the greatest of all: Frederic Chopin. The name Carl Tausig may be unfamiliar to most, but in his day, he was legendary. Considered to be the greatest student of Franz Liszt, this fantastic Polish pianist even wowed that virtuoso of virtuosi, and made transcriptions in the style of his mentor. While on this earth only thirty short years, he certainly should be remembered not only by connoisseurs of the piano, but by all who love great music. When you hear Thomas Pandolfi perform Tausig's amazing arrangement of Bach's Organ Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, you won't forget the name Carl Tausig, and you most certainly will not forget the name Thomas Pandolfi! Paderewski became the most famous and celebrated pianist after Franz Liszt, and he even traveled from town to town in his own private railroad car! But Paderewski was not always a household name; in the early days, when he was seeking support and sponsorship, he befriended a retired physician who was an ardent believer in the young man. The young Paderewski would visit the physician weekly to perform for him, especially the works of Mozart--the old man's favorite composer. At that stage, Paderewski's Mozart repertoire was rather limited, and he eventually ran out of pieces to play. So, he decided to play a trick on his rapt listener, and improvised a Minuet in the style of Mozart, proclaiming it was a newly discovered work of the revered composer--thus was born the famous Minuet in G! Thomas will conclude this program with a magnificent group of Chopin favorites.

 

The Silence Between: Favorite Sonatas by Mozart and Beethoven

Mozart once wrote about the importance of the "silence between the notes". This element of pause can either heighten the drama of the mood, or provide musical punctuation-- allowing the music to breathe, clarifying the phrasing, as it unfolds in the most logical and organic manner. The Classical Period of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven embraced symmetry, balance and form. This beautiful program of sonatas by Mozart and Beethoven highlights those aspects in the most satisfying way.

 

Lyric Beauty: Schubert

The late, great pianist Claudio Arrau described Schubert's piano music as "the last problem in interpretation", and the legendary virtuoso Andre Watts has proclaimed Schubert to be his "desert island composer." There's just something about Schubert that is endlessly fascinating. His music draws the listener in under the spell of the most intimate mood, and yet the melodies sing forth like a nightingale. Schubert's music is the best of both worlds---romantic in its expression and poetry, classical in its structure and architectural form...lyric beauty at its best.

 

Favorite Beethoven

No composer is more revered than Beethoven. Consistently his Fifth and Ninth Symphonies rank at the very top of Classical Music picks. By all accounts, Beethoven was a great pianist in addition to being a genius composer, so it is not at all surprising that some of his piano works rank in equal popularity to his symphonic masterpieces. Thomas Pandolfi will masterfully perform three of the most popular sonatas for you in this all Beethoven program: Pathetique, Moonlight and Appassionata.

 

Chopin, Piano and The Movies

How many times have you been to the movies and heard a beautiful Nocturne by Chopin as part of the soundtrack and say to yourself: "I know I've heard that....what is it called again?" Or perhaps you have sat in the concert hall being swept away by the octaves from Chopin's "Heroic Polonaise", and you turn to your partner and whisper, "Didn't we hear this in that movie we saw last week?" Well, Thomas Pandolfi has put together a program including some of Chopin's most famous works used in film. Following intermission, Thomas will perform his incredibly brilliant "Rhapsody on Themes from Bernstein's West Side Story." Your audiences will love this program!

 

Mozart, Spanish Romance and The Movies

Thomas opens this program with a Sonata that Mozart composed when he was 27 years of age---quite mature when you consider he started composing at the age of 5! Following the Mozart Sonata, Thomas will excite you with fiery rhythms from Cuba and Spain, and romance you with a gorgeous and sensual melody from Mexico. Earl Wild's arrangement of Marcello's ravishing Adagio will enchant you, Addinsell's "Warsaw Concerto" will spellbind you, and Thomas' "Rhapsody on Themes from Bernstein's West Side Story" will send you soaring. This is a fantastically entertaining program that has something for everyone!

 

Piano Musique/Musica: French and Spanish Pianism

The first half of this beautiful program is devoted to the two most important French Impressionist composers-- Debussy and Ravel, in works that pay homage to the much earlier Baroque Period, as well as two lesser known French masters--Poulenc and de Severac, in more "modern", yet utterly charming and delightful works. The second half will have you dancing to the rhythms of Cuba and Spain, and romanced by a sensational melody from Mexico.

 

The Italian Connection

Italy is renowned for its opera and its culinary delights, but this program will have you exploring the nimble finger virtuosity of Domenico Scarlatti, the rapturous melodic lines of Ottorino Respighi, and the literary genius of Dante, carved in sound by none other than Franz Liszt. Audiences will marvel at the cathedral like majesty of Busoni's transcription of Bach's great Chaconne in D Minor, and left in awe at the jaw dropping brilliance in Liszt's transcendental arrangement of one of Paganini's violin caprices.

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© Thomas Pandolfi 2018