Piano Concerto

This Piano Concerto is structured in three movements. The first, marked preludio con cadenza, begins with an orchestral cluster that quickly spreads until the entry of the first cadenza, or solo passage. Next, the piano introduces the main theme, accompanied by the orchestra; this leads to a longer, very rhythmic cadenza. The woodwinds then recall the main theme, accompanied by a piano obligato. The movement ends with a bright coda.

The second movement, a theme and variations, is lush, with rich orchestral textures and harmonies. A solo violin plays the main theme, accompanied by solo piano and cello. Then comes the first variation; very atmospheric and ethereal, it sometimes explores crystal-like orchestral sonorities by combining such instruments as vibraphone, glockenspiel, high string harmonics, wind chimes and high register on the piano. A piano solo starts the second variation before the orchestra joins in.

The third variation is dark, sinister and majestic; the piano and orchestra are unified, growing together towards a powerful climax. And the final variation recalls the movement's opening piano figure; the music becomes dream-like, with pointillistic and repeated textures. The movement ends with the piano playing the main theme.

The finale is an energetic and rhythmic toccata requiring virtuosity of both pianist and orchestra. Its orchestration includes a variety of percussion instruments. The movement features two contrasting themes: the first is angular, presented in dialogue with piano and orchestra; the second is rhythmic, first heard in the piano. The movement's barbaric character and rhythmic drive continue to the end.

This work was commissioned by the CBC through the kind attention of music producer David Jaeger.

Larysa Kuzmenko / 1996