April 22, 2011

Piano concert will feature seven-movement work

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Two pianos are required to deliver "Visions de l'Amen," a work by Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992) described as "epic." Yuko Kato, assistant professor of piano at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, delivers this work in a free performance set for 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 24, in Altgeld Hall, Room 112.

Messiaen composed the seven-movement work in 1943, two years after his release as a prisoner-of-war following the fall of France during World War II. Kato described the work as inspired by Messiaen’s student and then-future wife, Yvonne Loriod. Piano I, she said, is Loriod’s part, and is characterized by rhythmic difficulties. Piano II, she said, provides the melody and the thematic elements of the composition.

Kato will play Piano II for this concert. Joining her for Piano I are graduate student Ming Wei Neo, senior student Hyun Ji Oh, and Paul Transue, assistant professor of collaborative piano.