Great Pianists: Maria João Pires

The box set recently released by pianist Maria João Pires contains no fewer than 38 albums, with her finest recordings from recent decades, ranging from Mozart and Beethoven to Chopin. The Portuguese pianist broke through worldwide in the early 1970s but has been performing very little in recent years. She spent most of the quarantine on her own farm, drinking in the silence (she says), and practising. She has picked up all kinds of new pieces which she will perform in this new recital.

Schubert, Debussy and Beethoven

Pires opens her recital with Schubert's Sonata in A in which we might hear a 21-year-old Schubert in love. He dedicated the work to Josephine von Koller, who according to Schubert was a 'good pianist' and 'very pretty'. Pires closes the evening with Beethoven's Sonata No. 32, which turned out to be his last. The sonata is a classic example of 'expect the unexpected'. Beethoven uses the full width of the keyboard in his story full of drama, passion and technical challenges. You will also hear Debussy's Suite bergamasque, containing the beloved 'Claire de lune'.