マーラーCO /ベンジャミン/エイマードレビュー–複雑な質感とカットガラスの輝き

George Benjamin passed 60 昨年, そしてプロムスは特別に委託されたオーケストラ作品の最初の演奏で彼の誕生日を祝うことを計画していました. 12か月遅れ, that premiere finally arrived – a Concerto for Orchestra that is Benjamin’s first substantial piece for orchestra for 17 年. It was written for the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and, with the composer conducting, they introduced it, the only orchestra based outside the UK to appear at this year’s Proms.

The Concerto is dedicated to the memory of Oliver Knussen, Benjamin’s close friend for 40 年, で死んだ人 2018. The 16-minute piece, 彼は言い​​ます, “attempts to conjure a trace of the energy, humour and spirit I associate with my friend”. With brilliant solos from around the orchestra constantly breaking through the intricately detailed textures, it certainly justifies the description of “concerto”, but there are moments of quieter reflection that interrupt the hectic virtuoso activity, あまりにも, when the extended string lines that thread their way through the work take centre stage, and articulate the single-movement form.

There was also the first performance of Benjamin’s orchestrations of three of Henry Purcell’s viol-consort pieces: restrained, almost reverential reworkings. He had opened the concert with Knussen’s own The Way to Castle Yonder, a gorgeous melange of orchestra interludes from his opera Higglety Pigglety Pop!, full of exquisitely heard textures and fleeting echoes of the early 20th-century models from which Knussen assembled his quicksilver musical language.

Another old friend, the pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, was the soloist in Ravel’s G major Concerto. Benjamin and the orchestra set the tone of the performance with effervescently transparent textures, while Aimard’s playing had the hard-edged sparkle of cut glass. And to complete the belated birthday homage, his encore was Benjamin’s Relativity Rag, which deconstructs a two-part rag into shards of chromaticism, before reassembling the bits into a brief reminder of the original, with its tongue always firmly in its cheek.

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