classical music

Joy and James Lisney

Part of Classical Season 2018/19

Bach’s awe-inspiring Chaconne takes centre stage in a programme with Brahms and Chopin from one of the UK’s most exciting cello and piano duos.

When Johannes Brahms stumbled upon Bach’s Chaconne in 1877, he couldn’t believe his eyes: ‘On one stave, for a small instrument, the man writes a whole world of the deepest thoughts and most powerful feelings. If I imagined that I could have created, even conceived the piece, I am quite certain that the excess of excitement and earth-shattering experience would have driven me out of my mind.’

Cellist Joy Lisney’s transcription of this work is a tour-de-force of instrumental ingenuity, musicianship and virtuosity.

The programme concludes with Brahms’ Regensonate in D; an intensely nostalgic work that Clara Schumann described as ‘blissful’ and ‘melancholic’ – music that she wanted to accompany her ‘at that passage from here to eternity’.

Bach’s uplifting Sonata in D for viola da gamba provides a prelude to the only original work for piano and cello in this programme – Chopin’s Sonata in G, Op.65, his last major work, wrested from a time of personal discord over the breakdown of his relationship with Georges Sand.

Joy Lisney can confidently lay claim to be at the forefront of young musicians: as cellist, she has performed in many of Europe’s finest concert halls; she is a prize-winning composer; and this season is conducting major symphonic works by Mahler and Busoni. James Lisney has long enjoyed a distinguished international reputation and is currently undertaking the first cycle of Schubert piano sonatas in India.


Joy Lisney cello
James Lisney piano


JS Bach: Sonata in D for viola da gamba & keyboard, BWV.1028
Brahms: Violin Sonata No.1, Op.78 transc. in D for cello & piano
JS Bach: Chaconne from Partita No.2 in D minor, BWV.1004 arr. Joy Lisney for cello
Chopin: Cello Sonata in G minor, Op.65

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Purcell Room


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