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Featured on Douglas Weeks’ program will be Andante con Variazioni by Haydn, Fifteen Variations with Fugue, “Eroica Variations” by Beethoven, and Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel , by Brahms. Admission to this event is free.
About Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, by Brahms
The climax of Brahms’s activities as a composer of piano variations came with the Variations and Fugue on a theme by Handel, Op 24. Completed in Hamburg in September 1861 and dedicated to Clara Schumann on her birthday, this is one of the summits of his entire keyboard output, showing him at the height of his powers. Brahms’s Op 24 is an incredible example of the mastery he gained through intensive study during the previous decade. Handel’s iconic theme is the Air from his B flat major harpsichord suite, published in 1733. This elegant little tune has the balanced language, the structural and harmonic simplicity, of an ideal variation subject. Brahms’s twenty-five variations confine themselves to the key of B flat. This apparent constraint in structure provides Brahms with a framework on which to establish and explore a kaleidoscopic range of moods and characters.
About Douglas Weeks, piano
Steinway Artist Douglas Weeks is Babcock Professor of Piano at Converse and Coordinator of Piano Studies at the Brevard Music Festival in Brevard, North Carolina in the summer. He has performed extensively throughout the Southeastern United States as well as in England, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Panama both as soloist and as pianist in the Converse Trio. He has also performed solo recitals and duo recitals with Furman University violinist Thomas Joiner in Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia under the auspices of the US State Department. In the spring of 1999, he taught for four months at the Conservatory of Music in Cairo as a Fulbright Senior Scholar and he returned in 2004 and 2009 to teach both at the Conservatory and at Helwan University as a Fulbright Senior Specialist.