Walton Lott: Classical Piano
Walton Lott: Classical Piano
Walton Lott has been making music for nearly 30 years. He is currently an accompanist, performer, and teacher in the Boulder area, playing for church and school choirs, the Rocky Mountain Chorale, and giving frequent solo piano recitals. In both performing and teaching, Mr. Lott encourages a fun and flexible approach to music making.
For more than 10 years, Mr. Lott has taught a wide range of students, from beginners to adults, from musicians trained on other instruments to people simply looking to refine a new hobby. Mr. Lott encourages engagement with music genres ranging from Renaissance keyboard music, to jazz, to even video game music. As a classical pianist, he has focused on the canonical works from Bach to the Romantics, including study of early keyboard music performance on period instruments. Simultaneously, Mr. Lott champions “newer” works, be they Modernist, avant-garde, Minimalist, or works by current composers. He presented a paper on video game soundtracks at a 2017 Musicology conference held at UT Austin.
Mr. Lott holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Millsaps College, where he studied under Dr. Rachel Heard. In 2012, Mr. Lott completed a Master’s Degree in Music at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, studying under Dr. Andrew Willis, and is currently a candidate for the Doctorate of the Musical Arts at the same institut
The afternoon’s performance features masterpieces by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) and Maurice Ravel (1875-1937).
Beethoven composed Sonata Op. 110 in Ab Major, his second-to-last, between 1820-22. Typical for his so-called “Late” period, Beethoven treats this sonata with a philosophical and emotional depth that expands beyond the boundaries of the typical Classical sonata. The first movement exudes emotional warmth and singing lyricism, directing the performer to play sanft (“softly”) and con amibilita (“likably”). A brief second movement borrows its melodies from two jocular German folksongs and sets a humorous counterpoint to the first movement before moving to the sonata’s weighty ending. The final movement unfolds as a contrast between despair and conviction: a mournful Arioso dolente (“sad aria”) appears twice and with an imploring emotional urgency; however, each depth is answered with an optimistic 3-voice fugue that ultimately succeeds in overcoming the emotional nadir of the Arioso sections.
Maurice Ravel composed Gaspard de la Nuit in 1908 with the express intent to create a work of transcendent virtuosic difficulty. Ravel bases each of the three pieces of this suite on a macabre poem by Aloysius Bertrand. Ondine depicts a water sprite rippling in the water in attempts to seduce the author of the poem; her advances denied, she disappears in a shower of bright shower of water droplets. Le Gibet depicts a grim scene, a hanged man whose corpse “reddens in the sun;” Bb octaves incessantly toll 153 times throughout the musical setting, further highlighting the funereal theme. The final piece, Scarbo, describes the activity of a devilish imp by the same name, who torments the narrator with nightmarish shadowplay and drastic shifts in size. Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit brilliantly sets each of these poems, displaying a dazzling array of virtuosic techniques, textures, and colors.
This concert will be streamed from the Muse. It will be available to view on FB Live https://www.facebook.com/clareandpete/live/
and Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UConnfsa0T77NKKxfsp6aMx