by Mike Telin
A new piano concerto is always an occasion, but the premiere of Thomas Adès’ Concerto, performed by pianist Kirill Gerstein and the Boston Symphony under the direction of the composer, has caused critics and audiences to sit up and take note. Following the New York premiere of the work, Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times wrote that the Concerto was
written for Gerstein, who exhilaratingly dispatched this joyous and audacious piece’s formidable solo part… This breathless, 20-minute concerto, structured in three essentially traditional movements (fast, slow, fast), comes across as zesty and accessible. But don’t be fooled. Just below the surface, the music sizzles with modernist harmonies, fractured phrases, gaggles of counterpoint and lyrical strands that keep breaking into skittish bits. The finale is a riotous, clattering, assaultive romp. I can’t wait to hear it again.
This weekend Kirill Gerstein will play the Cleveland premiere of Adès’ Piano Concerto with The Cleveland Orchestra under the direction of Alan Gilbert. The program also includes J.S. Bach’s Suite No. 3 and Brahms’ Symphony No. 3. The Severance Hall concerts take place on Friday, October 11 at 11:00 am (no Bach) and 8:00 pm, and Saturday, October 12 at 8:00 pm. Tickets are available here.