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Piano concerto no. 3 : 'Lebewohl'

by Elena Kats-Chernin (2018)

Also known as: Lebewohl

Piano Concerto No. 3


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Piano Concerto No. 3 : 'Lebewohl' / Elena Kats-Chernin.

Library shelf no. Q 784.262186/KAT 4 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

In the year 1720 something happened that changed the life of JS Bach forever. On returning from a trip to Karlsbad, he discovered that his wife of 12 years, Maria Barbara, had not only died during his absence but had been buried as well; all unbeknownst to him and during his absence. He was now a sole parent to their four remaining children. Lebewohl explores the circumstances, ramifications and regrets that shake his soul and faith to the core, leading to the eventual pouring of his heart into what would become his unrecognised elegy for his first love: the Chaconne. With words adapted from Martin Luther, JS Bach and other writings of the day, Elena Kats-Chernin delivers her third piano concerto as a series of contemplations on one of her primary inspirations and honours the 'forgotten' wife of the Baroque master.

Work Details

Year: 2018

Instrumentation: Flute, piccolo, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in B flat, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, bass trombone, tuba, timpani, percussion (1 player), harp, piano, strings (

Duration: 22 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Contents note: In 5 movements.

Written for: Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Tamara Anna Cislowska

First performance: by Tamara Anna Cislowska, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Alondra de la Parra at QSO: Kats-Chernin premiere, & Beethoven, Prokofiev (QPAC Concert Hall) on 6 Sep 2018

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for/to
2019 Art Music Awards: Work of the Year: Orchestral Finalist Elena Kats-Chernin


Resonate article: 2019 Art Music Awards - what the judges said by Australian Music Centre


Performances of this work

19 Jan 2021: at 12 Hands 6 Grands (Sydney Town Hall).

9 Nov 2018: at TSO: Brava! Kats-Chernin (Federation Concert Hall, Hobart). Featuring Tamara Anna Cislowska, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Karina Canellakis.

6 Sep 2018: at QSO: Kats-Chernin premiere, & Beethoven, Prokofiev (QPAC Concert Hall). Featuring Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Alondra de la Parra, Tamara Anna Cislowska.

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