ALL ARTS Performance Selects

FULL EPISODE

Pianomania! Beatrice Rana

Pianomania! showcases some of the most promising piano talent from around the world. This recital features the 27 year-old Italian Beatrice Rana playing Schumann, Ravel's Miroirs, and the Stravinsky Firebird Suite. When she played the final two pieces in her Carnegie Hall debut, the New York Times describe her as "playing with lushness one moment and striking crispness and clarity the next."

AIRED: June 29, 2020 | 1:28:41
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

♪♪

I'm Julia Bullock, inviting you to join me

for a rapturous concert performance

as "All Arts" presents Beatrice Rana on stage

playing works of Schumann, Ravel, and Stravinsky.

This performance is the first time that I heard and watched

the young pianist Beatrice Rana.

She has a calm physicality, which is open and centered.

There's always an ease in her hands,

an incredible depth and clarity of sound,

and it seems that playing the piano

is the most natural thing in the world to her.

I really was transfixed watching and listening.

I became a mega fan. [ Laughs ]

I wrote to Beatrice to ask her opinion about her choices

for this recital, and this is what she said.

"The program of the recital in Lisbon is centered on

the idea of the piano as symphonic instrument.

I always consider this program a real challenge,

but I took it as an opportunity to explore

and go beyond the limits of the keyboard

and be able to be my own orchestra and conductor."

I really love that

because that's exactly what I gathered

what was at the center of this program.

She begins with Robert Schumann's "Blumenstuck,"

which, translated from German, means "Flower Piece."

And it's a really beautiful work.

It does give the sense of blossoming and regeneration,

and you can see it physically in Beatrice's hands.

She then moves into Schumann's Symphonic Etudes,

or Symphonic Studies, in which you really get

the sense of the thesis for this program,

the piano as symphonic instrument.

She follows with "Miroirs," which means "mirrors" in French.

There are five movements in this work,

but what I found interesting is that Ravel

dedicated each of the five movements

to a member of the arts collective

that he was a part of.

These were artists of various mediums --

painters, poets musicians -- all of whom

supported each other's work.

Among them was the composer Igor Stravinsky,

and it's one of Stravinsky's wildest and most raucous

orchestral masterpieces which closes this piano recital.

"The Firebird" was originally written as a ballet.

It was based on a mythical animal from Russian folklore,

and there is always some quest and fury

that this bird seems to bring to all that it encounters.

Beatrice walks out to perform this, and she barely sits down

before she begins to play.

I think her excitement comes because even though

this is a piano transcription of an orchestral work,

she's able to exploit every color, every percussive depth

and capability that the piano has to offer.

Enjoy.

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