Hugh Tinney Image


European Piano Masterworks

1. Hugh Tinney plays Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” Sonata
20 February 2011 Kilkenny: Castalia Hall, Ballytobin
23 February 2011 Dublin: National Concert Hall
3 March 2011 Cork: CIT Cork School of Music

Haydn Variations in F minor, Hob XVII/6 “Un piccolo divertimento”
Raymond Deane Minerva’s Owl... and Versipel (from Noctuary)
Mozart Sonata in A minor, K 310
Beethoven “Hammerklavier” Sonata, Op 106


2. Hugh Tinney plays Liszt’s B minor Sonata
13 March 2011 Kilkenny: Castalia Hall, Ballytobin
23 March 2011 Dublin: National Concert Hall

Bartok Suite, Op 14
Raymond Deane Duskiss and Nachtfalter (from Noctuary)
Chopin Nocturne in D flat, Op 27 No 2
2 Mazurkas: in B, Op 56 No 1 and A minor, Op 17 No 4
Scherzo No 2 in B flat minor, Op 31
Liszt Sonata in B minor


3. Hugh Tinney plays Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit
8 April 2011 *Sligo: The Model
17 April 2011 Kilkenny: Castalia Hall, Ballytobin
27 April 2011 Dublin: National Concert Hall

Debussy Estampes
Fauré Nocturne No. 6 in D flat, Op 63
Raymond Deane Mezzotint and ...hitherandthithering... (from Noctuary)
Debussy Images, Book I
Tristan Murail Le Mandragore (homage to Ravel)
Ravel Gaspard de la Nuit

* Sligo programme replaces Fauré/Deane/Debussy Images with a Chopin group


Ticket sales for the European Piano Masterworks can be found at the following places:


20th February 2011 Kilkenny: Castalia Hall, Ballytobin. Information and tickets: 056 7761497 email:

23rd February 2011 Dublin: National Concert Hall

3rd March 2011 Cork: CIT Cork School of Music. Tickets available at door.  Further information at

8 April 2011 *Sligo: The Model Tickets available from The Model at 071 9141405. Information at



The piano stands in a unique position, being the only non-ecclesiastical instrument that can claim to substitute for a full orchestra! Hence most of the great composers of Europe from the 18th to the early 20th century were at the very least adept (and sometimes extraordinary) pianists and their major output for orchestra was paralleled by a major output for piano – the orchestral Symphony and the piano Sonata were both central to Classical and Romantic composition.

Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” Sonata of 1818 is a sonata like no other ever composed. It represents one extreme of his 32 Piano Sonatas, the absolute limit of massiveness that a classical piano sonata seems capable of bearing. Its length far outstrips that of all other commonly known piano sonatas of both the Classical and Romantic eras. No wonder that many of Beethoven’s successors found his shadow was a difficult one to get away from!

Liszt’s B minor Sonata of 1853 is not only his most famous major composition but also, in terms of its frequency of representation in concerts and at piano competitions, the core Romantic piano sonata. There is irony in this, given the frequent disdain that Liszt the Composer suffered in his own time and since; in a sense this Sonata is his triumphant answer to that disdain, an extended and now unquestioned masterpiece that tests performers technically, structurally and spiritually.

Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit of 1908 shows the piano still as a central concern of composition. Under the French Impressionists, composition for piano and for orchestra had made a general move towards the looser structure of the Suite, although sonata structure still held sway in chamber music. This suite stands at a unique juncture of impressionism, romanticism and romantic virtuosity. In Gaspard, Ravel set out to write some of the most difficult piano pieces ever; in his own words, "I wanted to make a caricature of romanticism, but perhaps I let myself be taken over by it."

This series of recitals builds a programme around each of these three European Piano Masterworks, contextualising these peaks in programmes linked to them by style, period and provenance. And a quite different perspective is also given by the inclusion of excerpts from a new album of works by Irish composer Raymond Deane, a composer whose work has always been informed by a deep, hands-on knowledge of the canon of piano literature.