On Thursday, July 31, one hundred years to the day from Germany's call for reservists signaling the start of World War I, The Sembrich presents pianist Thomas Pandolfi in a commemorative recital entitled "The Eve of War." The concert begins at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $50.
The virtuosic program recreates, piece for piece, one of Ignace Jan Paderewski's Carnegie Hall recitals for American Polish Relief. The repertoire includes Bach's Chaconne in D minor, Beethoven's "Pathetique" Sonata, Schumann's Romance in F-sharp Major, a set of works by Chopin and additional pieces by Schubert, Rubinstein, Debussy, Ravel and Paderewski himself.
"I'm honored to share some of the cornerstones from the repertoire of one of the greatest and most celebrated pianists who ever lived," states Mr. Pandolfi, who returns this summer for his third appearance at The Sembrich.
Mr. Pandolfi, cited by the Clarion-Ledger as "one of the finest young pianists of his generation," has performed with orchestras across Europe, North America and in China. A graduate of The Juilliard School, he is set to embark on a twenty-one state recital tour this fall.
"Ignace Jan Paderewski was not only a great musician," continues Mr. Pandolfi, "But also a statesman and a hero to Poland."
Also appearing on the July 31st recital, at intervals between the program selections, will be New York actor Paul Hecht, who will read portions of Paderewski's memoirs recounting the events of the July 31st name-day party, a celebration attended by friends and colleagues from across Europe, including Marcella Sembrich and her husband William Stengel.
"Paderewski's vivid recollections of that evening, from the pall that overshadowed the festivities to the forced departure of guests and servants called into military service, amounts to something of a play-by-play of that momentous night," comments Sembrich artistic director Richard Wargo. "It's an appropriate way to commemorate not only an important event in world history, but an essential chapter of our history as The Sembrich."
The events that precipitated World War I set Madame Sembrich on a path that led her, eventually, to seek out a summer refuge in the Adirondacks.
"The case could be made," says Wargo, "that were it not for the events of July 31st, 1914, the Sembrich Museum might never have come into existence."
The Sembrich is located at 4800 Lakeshore Drive in Bolton Landing, New York. The Sembrich Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m. Reservations can be made by calling the Sembrich office at (518) 644-2431. For more information, visit the website at www.thesembrich.org.