One of the highlights of this year’s program, the chosen pieces reflect the power, passion, and conflict of Tolstoy’s epic 1869 classic. Only a musician of his calibre would begin a recital with the technically demanding Lizst transcription of Beethoven’s 5th symphony. Composed as the Napoleonic Wars ravaged Europe, Beethoven himself was tormented by increasing deafness during its creation. Following this tour de force is a piece from the iconic Frenchman, Maurice Ravel. This hypnotic and thrilling work was also said to be an incisive comment on the chaos in Europe following the Great War. The closing piece of this event is from Russian great Kabalevsky, Piano Sonata no. 3 evokes the era of Tolstoy’s masterwork and is the perfect thematic closure to the recital.