Alfred Brendel has called Kit Armstrong the “greatest talent” he has encountered in his life. Trademarks of the 22-year old pianist from California: a flawless touch and stupendous technical facility. At his debut recital in the scope of the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation concerts, he will juxtapose works by Johann Sebastian Bach with György Ligeti’s “Musica ricercata”.
Musica ricercata: Nos. I – VII
Prelude and Fugue in A minor BWV 889 from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Part 2:
Trio Sonata in D minor BWV 527
Prelude and Fugue in A minor BWV 894
Musica ricercata: Nos. VIII – XI
Chorale Prelude »Das alte Jahr vergangen ist« BWV 614
Chorale Prelude »Jesu, meine Freude« BWV 713
Chorale Prelude »Der Tag, der ist so freudenreich« BWV 605
Chorale Prelude »In dich habʼ ich gehoffet, Herr« BWV 712
Chorale Prelude »Erbarmʼ dich mein, o Herre Gott« BWV 721
Chorale Prelude »Vom Himmel hoch, da kommʼ ich her« BWV 738
Bicinium: »Allein Gott in der Höhʼ sei Ehr« BWV 711 and »Allein Gott in der Höhʼ sei Ehr« BWV 715
Chorale Prelude »Vom Himmel hoch da kommʼ ich her« BWV 701
Études pour piano, premier livre: Fanfares and Arc-en-ciel
Études pour piano, deuxième livre: The Sorcerer's Apprentice
He is a real “child prodigy, not only as a pianist, but also as composer, as mathematician; he juggles with five balls. I am genuinely curious about how he will turn out.” These words hail from none other than Alfred Brendel, who has called Kit Armstrong (born in 1992) the “greatest talent” he has encountered in his life. For all that, the young Californian pianist has eluded the fast-paced classical music market for the most part: his debut CD was only issued five years after the announcement by his mentor Alfred Brendel. He plays solo and chamber concerts with a flawless touch and his own typical, almost frightening technical facility.
As a guest in the Chamber Music Hall of the Berlin Philharmonie, Kit Armstrong, who is just beginning his career, will turn his attention to György Ligeti’s Musica ricercata, in which the composer asked himself: “What can I effect with one tone? By shifting it an octave? With one single interval?” (The first piece consists of just a single “a”, concluding with a “d”; another tone from the chromatic scale is added in each subsequent movement.) Ligeti’s experimental cycle will be heard alongside a range of piano works by Johann Sebastian Bach: two preludes and fugues, the Trio Sonata BWV 527 and several choral preludes. “The way Kit Armstrong plays Bach, with a naturalness and a complete control of the voices, with a healthy rhythm and an independence that is not injurious to the music – it’s very exciting” (Alfred Brendel).