The idea that music is something one not only hears but can also see or touch or even taste has fascinated pianist Sarah Hagen for many years.
Through the power of imagination, listeners can travel from the Comox Valley to other countries and eras or on a profound journey into a secret corner of one’s soul.
Hagen returns to the Sid Williams Theatre Nov. 25, welcoming audiences in from the cold to enjoy a rich and evocative program of solo classical piano.
Well-known to local audiences, Hagen recently moved both herself and her seven-foot grand piano to a loft studio in Vancouver, where she is taking a bite out of city life and finding inspiration in rumbling freight trains and brisk cycling adventures across the Second Narrows Bridge.
Her program includes three pieces by French composer Claude Debussy called Estampes, or Engravings. Debussy’s idea was to create pieces for the so-called “armchair traveller,” and in the bleakness of November, Hagen felt like the time was ripe for imaginary travels.
The first piece conjures up images of East Asian temples, the second transports the audience to sultry nights in Spain, and the last is a musical painting of a dramatic rainstorm.
Hagen will also play the 24 Preludes of Chopin, a stirring set of pieces full of colour and emotion, and Beethoven’s profound Sonata Opus 81a, entitled The Farewell.
Hagen is entranced by the idea that music both transports us back in time and on the other hand also brings the pieces and the composers to almost live and breathe among us. She offers audiences more than the piano alone, treating listeners to historical insights, which usually include some scandalous gossip on the composers.
Hagen has been heard on stage and on the airwaves throughout North America and across Europe. Highlights of her current season include a performance onstage with Ballet Victoria and an exciting collaboration with the Emily Carr String Quartet. She is always delighted to return to her beloved audience in the Comox Valley.
The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $32 (regular), $29 (senior) or $16 (ages 33 and under). For more information, visit www.sidwilliamstheatre.com, or call 250-338 2430.
— Sarah Hagen