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Igor Levit will perform noble, elegiac music from new release at Herbst Theatre / San Francisco Chronicle

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Like a pop musician touring a new album release, pianist Igor Levit comes to town on the strength of his inventive double-disc set for Sony Classical. Titled "Life," the release stands as a musical memorial for a close friend killed in an accident, but also as a testament to the potency and imagination of Levit's keyboard artistry.

The programmatic themes are those of death and remembrance, as borne out in music of an elegiac bent. For his San Francisco - Herbst Theatre recital on Thursday, Nov. 1, Levit has extracted music that features conversations across the decades and centuries - Brahms and Busoni arranging Bach, Liszt paraphrasing the music of Wagner, and so forth.

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