- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Posted October 1, 2010
There is a heightened level of musical exhilaration in Los Angeles currently. The media is focusing on the final concerts of Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen as he closes his 17 year tenure at the helm of the now world class orchestra he has nurtured. In celebration of that event DGG has released this recording of his Piano Concerto written for Yefim Bronfman, the soloist on this recording. For those who have been following the conducting career as well as the composing career of Salonen this recording will satisfy on every level. And now we await the release of his just-completed Violin Concerto composed for Leila Josefowicz that was premiered this week in one of Salonen's last concerts. The Violin Concerto is even more virtuosic and complex and satisfying musically than the Piano Concerto: watch for it.
Salonen has grown from a composer of fascinatingly complex modern music to works that are not only inventive but are also so rich in color and thematic material and scale such emotional heights that they seem destined to become standards. The Piano Concerto is a perfect example of this present level of compositional finesse. More a conversation between piano and orchestra than the standard 'orchestra accompanied piano extravaganza', this concerto poses questions and comments from the keyboard that are then answered by various choirs in the orchestra. The piano writing is daring and demanding technically, but that never seems to be the focus. The entire work comes across as a thorough-composed dialogue between equal partners - piano and orchestra. Yefim Bronfman, long a colleague with Salonen, delivers an electrifyingly fine performance of this score, at once full of whimsy and of depth in thought, and is always at one with his conversational partner - the orchestra, conducted by Salonen. It is a major masterpiece.
The CD adds the orchestral 'Helix' and the piano 'Dichotomie', both already well known to audiences from the rather frequent performances they are enjoying. It is a fine coupling, but doubtless the tendency for listening to this CD will be repeated trackings of the enormously satisfying Piano Concerto. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp