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'Hammerklavier' Parts 1 & 2

A piano and film work in collaboration with the composer Michael Finnissy. Hammerklavier is inspired by Finnissy's memories of the great Soviet pianist Sviatoslav Richter performing Beethoven's 'Hammerklavier' Sonata in 1975, and by Richter's secret queer life. This 40-minute version of the work matches the scale of Beethoven's 'Hammerklavier', transforming each movement in reverse order.

The film draws on concert footage and photographs of Richter, newly shot material inspired by the story of Ganymede, as well as queer cinema of the mid-20th-century in a complex dialogue with the music.

The piece was commissioned by the pianist Zubin Kanga. Part 1 premiered at the LCMF 2019, and the first complete performance took place at the Royal Academy of Music in 2022.

Hammerklavier (Part 1) at LCMF (2019)

Hammerklavier Part 2 (video clip/no sound)

Hammerklavier Part 2 (video clip/no sound)

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