Romantic piano at Megaron

The beautiful melodies of selected piano pieces by composer Robert Schumann will fill the Dimitris Mitropoulos Hall of the Athens Concert Hall tonight, as acclaimed Greek pianist Alexandra Papastefanou gives the first of two recitals (the second is on October 21) that pay homage to the work of the great German composer. The program highlights Schumann’s interest in fantastical literature and displays the influence the music of Johann Sebastian Bach had on him. It will thus start with the lighthearted and dreamy Arabesque, written in a period of emotional turmoil between 1838-1839 occasioned by his beloved Clara, from whom he was separated by her father. The Arabesque is followed by Phantasiestucke, opus 111, a collection of poetic pieces written in 1837 and based on the literature of Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffman, and the first part of the program ends with Humoreske, a 1839 composition. The second part of the program will open with the Nachtestucke series and ends with eight pieces dedicated by Schumann to Frederic Chopin. Under the general title Kreisleriana, these are fanatasy pieces based on the character of the mad and eccentric Kapellmeister Kreisler. Tickets cost 12 and 20 euros (5 for students). Athens Concert Hall, 1 Kokkali & Vas. Sofias, tel 010.728.2000.