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With Stevenson’s Variations on D-Es-CH, Levit Tours a Mid-20th Century Classic

March 1, 2022

Pianist Igor Levit will visit eight European centers between now and June, introducing a gargantuan mid-century masterwork by the late Scottish composer Ronald Stevenson,  “Passacaglia on DSCH,” beginning March 1 at the Hamburg Philharmonie and continuing through June 10 in Düsseldorf. Stops along the way include Berlin, Bregenz, Munich, Stutttgart, Leipzig and Vienna. Click here for Levit’s detailed calendar.

Stevenson’s enormous set of 300 variations is a fresh invitation to appreciate the variety of approaches to new music that existed the post-war era, which was not a period of post-serialist influence exclusively.

Levit has been absorbed in the project, which he has also recorded for Sony Classical: “I can’t remember having worked on a piece in my entire life so far that was so demanding on an intellectual and pianistic level.”

Writing about the work for The Guardian, Andrew Clements expressed admiration for Levit’s spectacular take on Stevenson’s “wild ride through a cornucopia of musical forms, quotations and allusions, with references ranging from Bach to 20th-century revolutionary songs.”


March 1, 2022
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Classical Voice North America