Pianist's recital menu to focus on life on water

Brian Ganz will play Sunday at Unitarian church in Annapolis

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Arundel Live

September 06, 2001|By Phil Greenfield | Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The recital to be offered by pianist Brian Ganz on Sunday at Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis is notable for several reasons.

The proceeds will be put to exceptionally good use in the community. A children's chorus will make its debut.

And then there is the musical artistry of Ganz. A strikingly good concert pianist who makes his home in the Annapolis area, Ganz has programmed a succession of masterworks connected in some way to life on the water.

"I thought that appropriate for a late summer concert in Annapolis," he said with a chuckle.

Frederic Chopin's Barcarolle, for example, was inspired by the singing gondoliers of Venice.

Ganz will stick with the Polish composer when he performs the Ballades, a set of four rhapsodic piano pieces famous for their beauty and for the cascading emotions so emblematic of Chopin's expressive style. Talk about torrential downpours of notes.

In keeping with the nautical motif, the F major Ballade (No. 2 in the set) was inspired by a poem about an underwater city flooded out of existence.

Perhaps the stormiest of all of Beethoven's 32 sonatas for the piano is No. 17 in D minor. Of its thumping first movement, Beethoven remarked, "The piano must break." No wonder the supercharged work is nicknamed the "Tempest" sonata.

Ganz - a member of the faculty at Baltimore's Peabody Institute, his alma mater - concludes his program in calmer waters, with the impressionistic colors of Claude Debussy's "Reflections in the Water" and Maurice Ravel's "Un barque sur l'ocean" (A boat on the ocean).

Cindy Hackett of Annapolis, who made the high bid for Ganz's recital at an auction in May, said proceeds from the recital would be donated to the Unitarian Church's social action programs and to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The church is involved in such programs as Habitat for Humanity and Haven, a service organization for people who are positive for the human immunodeficiency virus.

The program also will mark the debut of the All Children's Chorus of Annapolis under the direction of its founding conductor, Liz Barrett.

Twenty-two youngsters from the ensemble will sing: the Scandinavian folk song "Here I Sit and Wait for You"; "Everybody Wants to be a Cat," from the Disney movie The Aristocats; and the moving song "Listen to My Heart."

Tickets for the 4 p.m. concert are $15 for adults and $10 for students, but no family will have to pay more than $50. Tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 9 a.m. Sunday at the church, 333 Dubois Road.

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