Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Kirill Gerstein, Thomas Adès & Feruccio Busoni

Thomas Adès and Kirill-Gerstein (Photo Stu-Rosner)
Thomas Adès and Kirill-Gerstein (Photo Stu-Rosner)
Pianist Kirill Gerstein returns to the Wigmore Hall on Sunday 24 February 2019 with a typically thought-provoking programme which includes the UK premiere of Thomas AdèsBerceuse from his opera The Exterminating Angel [see my review of the premiere of the opera], a work which Adès wrote for Gerstein and which Gerstein premiered last week in Vienna. Also this week, Gerstein's new CD of Feruccio Busoni's mammoth Piano Concerto comes out, and looking ahead Gerstein and Adès will be collaborating on the premiere of Adès Concerto for piano and orchestra which is dedicated to Gerstein.

At the Wigmore Hall, Gerstein's programme brings together pieces written in response to social and political turmoil, including music Liszt, Beethoven, Janáček, Debussy, Ravel and the Armenian composer Komitas (1865-1935). Further details from the Wigmore Hall website.

Long-time friends, Gerstein and Adès will give the premiere of Adès' Concerto for piano and orchestra with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Boston (7 March), New York (20 March), [see the orchestra's website] and subsequently its European première in Leipzig (25 April), and in New York and Boston the two will collaborate on two-piano recitals including Adès’s Concert Paraphrase on Powder her face.

Gerstein's recording of Busoni's Piano Concerto was recorded live with Boston Symphony Orchestra and Sakari Oramo in March 2017 and the disc is out this week on Myrios Classics. Written in 1904, Busoni's concerto is one of the largest works written in this genre, lasting around 70 minutes with the addition of a male chorus for the final movement. Busoni himself was the soloist for the premiere in Berlin's Beethoven-Saal with Karl Muck conducting the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.

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