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Mark Valenti / Piano Recital

August 12, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm



Próle do Bébé (The Baby’s Family) (1918) by Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959)

Porcelain Doll

Wooden Doll

Witch Doll

Paper Doll

Rag Doll

Clown Doll (Polichinelle)


Four Preludes (1730-40) by J. S. Bach (1685-1750)

G major BWV 902

F# minor from Well-tempered Clavier Bk. II

G minor from Well-tempered Clavier Bk. II

F major from Well-tempered Clavier Bk. II


Sonata (1926) by Bela Bartok (1881-1945)

Allegro moderato

Sostenuto e pesante

Allegro molto


Ballade #2 in F major, op. 38 (1839) by Frederic Chopin (1810-1849)

Andantino, Presto con fuoco


Program Notes:

Heitor Villa-Lobos wrote two suites with the title Próle do Bébé. The set presented here is from the first suite which he wrote for his wife. They are full of childlike charm and simplicity and were championed by the pianist Artur Rubinstein.

Johann Sebastian Bach originally paired the Prelude in G major with a fughetto in his set of Little Preludes and Fugues. However, he ultimately separated this prelude, however, realizing that it was a gem worth standing alone. It is a prelude rich with lyricism and delicate syncopations. All the preludes of the Well-tempered Clavier, I also feel, can stand alone and hold their own. The Prelude in F# minor is an eloquently songful air. While the Prelude in G minor contains the dramatic character of an Overture, the fabric of the Prelude in F major is woven with resplendent choral textures.

Written the same year as Piano Concerto No. 1 and Out of Doors Suite for his concert tours, the Sonata by Bela Bartok exploits the potentialities of percussive pianism, primal rhythms and peasant-like melodies. The first movement is a dance with a motor driven rhythm. The static harmonies and inert melodies of the second movement depict a stark, bleak, desolate landscape. The third movement, set in a kind of rondovariation form, has the most ethnic flavor combining folk-like melodies and rhythms with percussive modernism.

Frederic Chopin’s Ballade #2 in F major tells a tale of tenderness and turmoil. A lovely tranquil theme proceeds only to be interrupted by an eruption of fury. In the eye of the storm that has just precipitated the main theme is developed only to rise to an even more frenzied climax ending with but a wind blown whisper of the opening theme.




Mark Valenti received his Master of Music from Northwestern University, Bachelor of Music from the Philadelphia Musical Academy and has studied with such notable teachers as Benjamin Whitten, Zoltan Kocsis and Mary Sauer. In addition to giving solo recitals in cities throughout the U.S., Mr. Valenti has performed in France, Belgium, Hungary and Luxembourg as well as for former First Lady Barbara Bush in Washington, D.C.

Mark Valenti has performed in recital live on WFMT classical radio. He has also done extensive work in the Jazz field including performances with Gregory Hines, Frank Foster and Al Grey and has appeared on television with Joe Sudler’s Swing Machine and singer/actor Christopher Durham.

Formerly Professor of Music at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Xavier University in Chicago and the Loire Valley Music Institute in France, Mr. Valenti currently teaches at his studio in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago and is available for lessons for all levels and all styles.


August 12, 2023
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


PianoForte Studios
1335 South Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60605 United States
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(312) 291-0000
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Thomas Zoells
(312) 291-0000