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May 13, 2013 concert - "Properly Tuned Masterpieces" - at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall

By Lynn J. Yen, Published on April 2, 2013

On Tuesday, May 28, 2013, at 7:30pm, a unique concert will be offered by the Foundation For The Revival Of Classical Culture at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall. The concert, entitled "Properly Tuned Masterpieces" will present, through "performance as demonstration", an argument for restoring the performance of the works of Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms and Mendelssohn to a tuning pitch of A=432 CPS (Cycles Per Second), rather than today's prevalent "higher" tunings.

The "lower A" is also sometimes referred to as the "Verdi tuning" as a result of the successful campaign by Giuseppe Verdi to pass legislation in the Italian parliament regulating the performance pitch in Italy to an A at no higher than 435 CPS. This concert also commemorates, in that fashion, the 200th anniversary of that composers birth, and his principled fight on this question.

The concert will feature solo performance on piano, as well as ensemble pieces. The vocal emphasis so characteristic of all Classical music composers--in contrast to the mythical "instrumentalist "approach to, in particular, keyboard performance--will thereby be emphasized.

While some may consider this approach novel, and even controversial, the Foundation regards it as an attempt to remain faithful to the intent of the composition and its composer. "Pure" music, devoid of the idea of human vocalization, neither exists, nor should it. The capacity of the performer to cause an instrument to (sing) is at the very core of the transformative power of Classical compositional method. In a sense this concert is intended to conduct a "living experiment" to determine to what extent a modern audience were more deeply informed by performances so rendered.

The program is as follows:

    Part I:
  1. Beethoven,Piano Sonata Op. 10 no. 3 in D major
  2. Beethoven, Piano Sonata Op. 57 in F minor "Appassionata"
    Part II:
  1. Bach, English Suite

About the Artist:

Tian Jiang, Master Pianist

Coming back from our Foundation's May 12, 2012 Carnegie Hall "breakthrough" concert, entitled From Mao To Mozart To Stern: Commemorating Isaac Stern’s 1979 China Visit, will be renowned concert pianist Tian Jiang.

The Los Angeles Times wrote: “Tian Jiang achieved an exquisite performance of Mozart’s beloved Piano Concerto No. 23. The internationally known Jiang is a deeply persuasive Mozartean who delivers the full spectrum of the composer's virtues - wit, pathos, brilliance, and serenity in this buoyant performance..." Praised for his "formidable technique, shining, crisp, energetic and colorfully illuminated playing" by the New York Times, a subsequent profile on CBS Sunday Morning further celebrated the sweet irony of this remarkable artist's rich, imaginative interpretations: that this music he had been forbidden to hear, let alone play as a child, had become his life.

Born in Shanghai during the early days of China's Cultural Revolution, Tian's first memories resound not of Bach and Mozart, but of the boots of the Red Guard as they stomped through his home in search of cultural contraband - books and music - any vestige of Western arts. The Chinese government of the 1970s banned the playing, performance, or study of such "Western" music. Thus, the young Tian could only play the music of Bach, Beethoven and Mozart in secret.

Later, Tian Jiang was one of five young Chinese musicians chosen by violinist Isaac Stern, when Stern traveled to China in 1979, to open China to a dialogue with Western Classical music. Today, China is not only one of the world's leading centers of Classical music education and performance, but an "ambassador" of Classical music to the rest of the world.

As in May 2012, Tian is returning to perform at this May 28, 2013 concert, in a continuation of his fruitful project with Isaac Stern -- not only to bring Western Classical music to China, but to every country and person in the world. Mr. Jiang gives thanks to Mr. Stern and America, by offering his concerts, of once-forbidden music, to Americans, both young and old, through these concerts arranged by the Foundation For The Revival of Classical Culture.

Tickets will be on sale soon. If you'd like to pre-purchase/reserve tickets, please email lynn@fftrocc.org.

For more information, see this link.