Dr. Takasawa will open his program with six preludes from Claude Debussy’s Préludes (Book I): Danseuses de Delphes, Le vent dans la plaine, Les collines d’Anacapri, Des pas sur la neige, La Cathédral engloutie, and Minstrels. Debussy filled the Préludes with rich, unusual, and daring harmonies. He placed the title at the end of each because he wanted listeners to respond intuitively and not with preconceived notions.
Two pieces by Amy Beach – Hermit Thrush at Eve, Op.92 No.1. (1921) and Fireflies, Op.15 No.4 (1892) – were chosen to honor the 100th anniversary of the Jamestown Historical Society, which was formed in 1912. “I could not find a suitable piece composed in1912,” Takasawa explained, “so I chose these two beautiful works that bracket the society’s anniversary year.” Beach lived much of her life in Boston, moving to New York City later in life.
The concert will conclude with Ludwig van Beethoven’s Variations and Fugue for Piano in E-flat major, Op. 35. These 15 variations and fugue are commonly known as the “Eroica Variations,” because the same theme appeared in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 Eroica composed the following year.
Dr. Takasawa, associate professor of music and co-director of piano graduate studies at the University of Rhode Island, has charmed Jamestown audiences at earlier JCPA concerts. Born in Niigata, Japan, he came to the United States to further his musical training. He made his solo recital debut at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 1992. He has since performed in many countries from Taiwan to Poland to Belize.
Dr. Takasawa’s interest in communicating with students through music has led him to performances in elementary and secondary schools in the Rhode Island area, and in schools as faraway as Japan, Taiwan, and Vietnam. In 2004, he initiated the annual URI Piano Extravaganza! festival, at which young pianists and, in a separate competition, adult amateur pianists from all over New England compete.
He has supported the JCPA as a consultant for several years.
The Jamestown Community Piano, purchased by public subscription in November 2001, is a seven-foot Schimmel grand. The Jamestown Community Piano Association, a recognized non-profit organization, maintains the piano for use by the community and presents concerts that feature the piano. The concerts are free. Tax deductible donations for piano maintenance and performance support are appreciated.