On Thursday, Serebryany will play Shostakovich’s “Prelude and Fugue in D minor, Op. 87, No. 24.” The piece is part of a 24-piece collection. It puts whatever musical risks the composer might have taken in the context of an homage to Johann Sebastian Bach’s “The Well-Tempered Klavier,” also a collection of 24 preludes and fugues. Serebryany added that Shostakovich’s collection nods to Frédéric Chopin’s “24 Preludes.”
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Sonata in C-minor, K. 457” is one of only two that the composer wrote in a minor key. Serebryany said it is often paired with Mozart’s “Fantasy in C-minor, K. 475” which was originally published along with the sonata. He will perform both. Serebryany said the rarity of minor keys in Mozart’s music is probably related to the character of Viennese Classicism. More specifically, said Serebryany, Mozart often wrote in the galant style, known for its simplicty, elegance, and grace. It was a reaction to the serious, complex music of the Baroque Period, which ended around the mid 1700s. Mozart’s C-minor sonata is in some ways a departure from mainstream galant, said Serebryany. He said that even its middle movement, though in the related key of E-flat major, uses more complex and perhaps darker sounds. “It’s venturing off into expressivity, into eroticism, that kind of more emotionally vulnerable, more unstable place,” said Serebryany. He said these ideas were always under the surface for Mozart.