Pianist Bruce Vogt kicks off the Langley Community Music School’s Concerts Cafe Classico season Sunday with a fictional battle between two music greats. (Special to the Langley Advance)

Banishing classical music legends to fictional purgatory in Langley show

Pianist Bruce Vogt presents a one-man play depicting Beethoven and DeBussy.

Bruce Vogt imagines musical greats Beethoven and Debussy as purgatory mates, and brings that to life in a one-man play he’s bringing to Langley this weekend.

Vogt is kicking off the season for Langley Community Music School’s (LCMS’s) Concerts Cafe Classico on Sunday with this fictional presentation of the two classical masters being condemned to purgatory until they learn to respect – even love – each other’s music, explained LCMS artistic director Elizabeth Bergmann.

“This is going to be a very intriguing performance. While the music is sure to be impeccable, this unique play-like dialogue adds a whole new dimension into the performance,” Bergmann said.

Vogt’s presentation, Beethoven and Debussy: Purgatory Mates, is born out of poet W. H. Auden’s parlour game called Purgatory Mates. But Vogt’s presentation and will featuring Vogt as both Beethoven and Debussy.

“No props, no costumes, only subtle changes of register,” he said. “The program is in three parts with the dialogue in the form of a play. There will be a short break and then comes Debussy’s Images: Book 2. Then another short break followed by Beethoven’s last sonata, No. 32, Op. 111.”

“One doesn’t usually put [Beethoven and Debussy] together,’ Vogt said. But drawing on insights into their lives, he is able to take audiences on a journey through purgatory from opposing rivalry to enlightened appreciation.

Vogt is an internationally celebrated musician and current professor – head of piano at the University of Victoria’s school of music.

Listen to: Fantasie in C Major Opus 17: II

A global performer and recording artist, Vogt’s talents have been celebrated as ‘technical perfection paired with emotional expressiveness’ in Germany, ‘rare grandeur’ in London, and ‘a virtuoso’ in Paris,” said Bergmann, who is herself a pianist .

“Equally revered as a teacher, Vogt’s students cite his unique instruction as going ‘far beyond the instrument itself to permeate one’s entire life and thought’,” she added.

The event starts at 2:30 p.m. with a pre-concert conversation with Bruce Vogt, hosted by Bergmann.

This commentary will feature the inspiration behind his performance and explore some highlights of Vogt’s acclaimed career, Bergmann noted.

Then, there will be a short break with coffee and refreshments before the performance from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Tickets for this concert are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors, and $10 for students and available through the school box office at 604-534-2848.

The Rose Gellert Hall is located at 4899 207 St.

Upcoming concerts:

The Concerts Café Classico season includes:

• Oct. 29 – Clayton Leung, viola, and Lisa Tahara, piano, perform Bruch, Gershwin and more.

• Nov. 19 – LCMS Contemporary Faculty and vocalists perform contemporary music drawn from jazz and pop.

• March 4 – Joan Blackman, violin, Francois Houle, clarinet, and Jane Hayes, piano, perform “Sea and Sky,” a program inspired by dance and folk-song.

• April 29 – British cellist Michael Kevin Jones with Bruce Vogt, piano, perform “The B’s of Classical Music” — Bach, Beethoven and Brahms.

• May 25 – Rose Gellert String Quartet performs the Concerts Café Classico season finale.

The school’s Rose Gellert Hall concert season includes:

• Oct. 14 – Borealis String Quartet performs “Bohemian Sounds,” and are joined by the Bergmann Piano Duo.

• Jan. 27 – Gryphon Trio performs chamber music ranging from traditional to contemporary.

• Feb. 17 – Jan Lisiecki, piano, performs Chopin, Schumann and Ravel.

• April 14 – The Brad Turner Trio (Brad Turner, piano; Darren Radtke, bass; and Bernie Arai, drums) performs jazz from Turner’s masterful new CD.

View full descriptions online.

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