Seong-Jin Cho: The Wanderer

June 4, 2020, 9:00 am

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The Romantic theme of the wanderer, a free spirit undertaking a journey into the self, runs through Seong-Jin Cho’s latest solo album. The globetrotting Korean pianist’s program includes two monuments of the 19th-century repertoire – Schubert’s Wanderer Fantasy and Liszt’s Piano Sonata in B minor. The album also contains Alban Berg’s Piano Sonata, Op. 1, a single-movement work of extraordinary intensity. All three compositions grow from a simple theme or melodic gesture which is then transformed in the course of a voyage of variation, development, and discovery. “This music looks forwards and backwards at once,” notes Cho. “What fascinates me is the (three) composers’ ability to create great art from just a few elements. The way they develop the works’ entire fabric from a single motif is fascinating.”