Pianist Stephen Hough, courtesy of San Francisco Performances
Next month will see the beginning of the Piano Series of four solo recitals that will be presented as part of the current season of San Francisco Performances (SFP). All four of the recitalists will be making return visits; and the first of them will be Stephen Hough, who will be appearing for the seventh time, having made his SFP debut in 1991. As many readers probably know by now, this coming March 25 will mark the centennial of the death of Claude Debussy, and this site has already acknowledged the significance of that date on several occasions.
Hough’s acknowledgement will include a new CD of Debussy’s piano music, which is scheduled for release by Hyperion this coming January 5. (As is almost always the case, Amazon.com is currently taking pre-orders for this recording.) Hough will begin his recital with a selection of Debussy compositions, including both books of three compositions each collected under the title Images, which are featured on his new recording. The Images selections will be preceded by the “Clair de lune” movement from the Suite bergamasque; and, in a related vein, they will be followed by “La terrasse des audiences du clair de lune” (the terrace of moonlit audience) from the second book of preludes.
The remainder of the program will involve Ludwig van Beethoven, both directly and indirectly. Hough will begin with Robert Schumann’s Opus 17 fantasia in C major, whose first movement concludes with a reference to thematic material from Beethoven’s Opus 98 song cycle An die ferne Geliebte (to the distant beloved). The program will then conclude with Beethoven’s Opus 57 (“Appassionata”) sonata in F minor.
This performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 18. The venue will be Herbst Theatre, whose entrance is the main entrance to the Veterans Building at 401 Van Ness Avenue, located on the southwest corner of McAllister Street. The venue is excellent for public transportation, since that corner has Muni bus stops for both north-south and east-west travel. Tickets prices are $70 for premium seating in the Orchestra and the front and center of the Dress Circle, $55 for the Side Boxes, the center rear of the Dress Circle, and the remainder of the Orchestra, and $40 for the remainder of the Dress Circle and the Balcony. Tickets may be purchased in advance online through a City Box Office event page.
In addition, since this is the first concert of the series, subscriptions are still on sale for $260 for premium seating in the Orchestra and the front and center of the Dress Circle, $200 for the Side Boxes, the center rear of the Dress Circle, and the remainder of the Orchestra, and $140 for the remainder of the Dress Circle and the Balcony. Subscriptions may be purchased online in advance through a City Box Office event page. Orders may also be placed by calling the SFP subscriber hotline at 415-677-0325, which is open for receiving calls between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.