The world-leading French-Canadian pianist Louis Lortie returns to Duke Performances with his trademark "bravura, amazing display of color and beautiful way with a melodic line" (Los Angeles Times). With a clutch of Schubert songs arranged for the piano, he is able to highlight the lyricism and vast potential of the genre. Opening the concert are two songs from Schubert's Die Schöne Müllerin song cycle, both of which see the piano creating a gentle, river-like rippling motif. Auf dem Wasser zu singen describes the narrator's melancholy reflections of the passing of time, while Rachmaninov's Floods of Spring is a prime example of the classic Russian Romance style.
Each of the moments musicaux in Rachmaninov's set of solo piano pieces celebrates a characteristic of a previous musical era. We hear a nocturne, song without words, barcarolle, virtuoso etude, and theme and variations, showcasing the breadth of possibility of concert works. Schubert's Six moments musicaux offers the perfect pairing, each highlighting a different aspect of the composer's musical language.