- Al largo, for orchestra
- Piano Concerto No. 2
- EXPO, for orchestra
Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg was the composer-in-residence for the New York Philharmonic Orchestra between 2009 and 2012, and the album at hand may be taken as representative of what results when a fast-rising composer meets well-established symphony orchestra. All three works here receive their recorded premieres. The "Piano Concerto No. 2," which receives a stirring performance from Yefim Bronfman, is somewhat different in style from the orchestral works that bookend it and perhaps a stronger work. It's a brilliant, propulsive piece with a fine nocturne of a slow movement. There's a lot of density and some other styles thrown into the mix, but essentially it begins where Bartók's "Piano Concerto No. 2" leaves off. In all three pieces there is a strong sense of one thing inevitably following another, and the concerto never drags. Lindberg is one of those composers who emerged from training in electronic music to write pieces for conventional instruments, and the orchestral works "EXPO" and "Al largo" (which includes a piano part) reflect that. They're full of exotic orchestral textures, and once again Lindberg has a nifty talent for knitting things together. The basic material of both works, however, left this listener without compulsion to hear it again. The Dacapo label's engineers get terrific sound from Avery Fisher Hall.
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Lindberg: EXPO; Piano Concerto No. 2; Al largo based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg served as the New York Philharmonic's Composer-in-Residence for three years. As this new recording attests, it was time well-spent. The release features three live recordings of Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic performing music Lindberg composed for them. And what compositions! Lindberg's second piano concerto, finished in 2012, is a lush, post-modern work that never lets up on the drama. The roiling piano solo (effectively executed in this performance by Yefim Bronfman) has some of the quality Liszt and Rachmaninov, cast in a more advanced tonal language. This is an expansive and powerful work, and one that has the potential to become a repertoire standard. Framing the piano concerto on the disc are two shorter works for orchestra. EXPO (2009) is a bristling showpiece that serves as an exciting and appealing curtain-raiser. Al largo (2009) is a more substantial work. It begins with a heroic fanfare, then as thematic crosscurrents play across the orchestra, the work seems to shimmer with continual motion. The combination and recombination of instruments and sections the instruments keeps Al largo moving along until the listener arrives at its unexpected -- but in retrospect quite logical -- finish. The works, the performances, and the recording itself is all top-notch. A triumph all the way around.