It is always a pleasure to welcome pianist Danny Driver to Luton. He offers a programme of virtuosic solo repertoire, including music by Ravel, Fauré and Franck. Schumann’s Symphonic Etudes Op 13, like so much of his chamber music, is tangled up in the threads of his private life. The work was undertaken before his relationship to Clara began to unfold; indeed the theme had been sent to him by Baron von Fricken, whose ward Ernestine was at the time engaged to Robert. However the engagement was broken off shortly after the completion of the earliest drafts of the work. It was eventually dedicated to the British composer William Sterndale Bennett, who often played it in concerts and with great success. Robert however advised Clara that he felt the work was not suitable for public performance and she should therefore not include it in her repertoire. Perhaps for Robert there was still an association with a former infatuation, now superseded by the deep affections he now had for his adored Clara…
As part of our theme of Family Relationships Danny will be joined for some items by his two children Finn (oboe) and Ilan (violin). There may also be additional keyboard support from another family member, conductor Rebecca Miller. It’s all hands on deck!
‘…a performance of dauntless clarity, understated wit and graceful vitality.’