Jean Coulthard’s dazzling set of piano etudes date from the early 1954. The third – a Toccata – is a bravura study in rhythm and syncopated coordination. This masterfully structured piece slices straight down the middle to mirror-like effect. Where the pianist’s right hand first takes lead, it in turn follows the left. This is both etude and toccata in the truest sense: an unwavering pulse and quickening harmony drives the music to an exciting (and inevitable!) finish.
In 1931, Sophie Carmen Eckhardt-Gramatté offered this Caprice as an expression of gratitude to the man who would became her second husband: Ferdinand Eckhardt (F.E.) Tender, light-hearted and even amorous, this music hints at an ardent relationship to come between composer and dedicatee. Based on earlier sketches from her childhood, (« Prit de mon cahier d’enfance »), the composer chooses a simple ABA form to depict this portrait; always lyrical and buoyant in mood: leisurely and poised. The opening tempo marking Aisé offers the perfect place to start in this charming caprice that hints at the Imperial salons of a bygone era.
Adam Sherkin is a dynamic artist who commands a multi-dimensional approach to performance and composition. As a pianist, Sherkin has performed at significant venues, including the Glenn Gould Studio, the Toronto Centre for the Arts, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Covent Garden and the Royal Albert Hall. As an emerging young Canadian artist, Sherkin released his first album in 2012 on the Centrediscs label: a full-length solo disc featuring his own works, As At First. Acclaim has followed for Sherkin’s first record, described as displaying « a sense of daring, » « craftsmanship: » unmistakable music by a « young, living, breathing and very gifted composer. » His have works been performed throughout Canada, the United States and Britain including Toronto, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Manchester and London (UK). Sherkin presents the WRITE OFF the KEYBOARD Noon Hour Series at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts this 2014-15 Concert Season and continues to perform new Canadian repertoire – including his own – at home and abroad.