Beethoven is both the jumping-off point and the culmination of Imogen Cooper’s journey into the depths and heights of human emotion.
First she probes Liszt’s introverted and exploratory late music alongside his fellow Hungarian Bartók’s early Bagatelles.
The first half ends with Beethoven’s playful and idiosyncratic Eroica Variations.
After the interval, piano arrangements by Kempff and Busoni of Bach’s austere chorales open the proceedings, leading to Thomas Adès’ contemporary piano masterpiece Darknesse Visible, based on the Elizabethan lute song by John Dowland ‘In Darknesse Let Me Dwell’.
This is illustrated by a recording of its original version for voice and lute.
Finally Cooper performs a work with which she has been associated for many years, Beethoven’s penultimate Sonata Op.110: in itself another spiritual journey from darkness to light.