Wednesday, October 20, 2010 “'BluesKonzert' is the best new 'concertante' piano work I have heard in a very long time from an American composer.”

[Alvin Singleton; Ellington & The Modern Masters; BluesKonzert; Detroit Symphony Orchestra; Neeme Järvi and Leslie B. Dunner, conductors; Ursula Oppens, piano; DSO-1003 (1999)]

Composer Alvin Singleton,, alerts us to the high praise given his BluesKonzert by a reviewer in
“Alvin Singleton's BluesKonzert was written for Ursula Oppens in memory of jazz composer and saxophonist Julius Hemphill, her long-time companion. Oppens lived up to her reputation as one of the greatest champions of new music, getting to the often-conflicted emotional core of this mostly elegiac concerto, which opens with a cadenza in which a mournful descending two-note motive and assertive, manic staccato figures vie for attention. The work's rhapsodic form reflects the continuing collision of moods, with the solemn and funereal often colliding with or suddenly in contrasting counterpoint to music that is declamatory and assertive. Oppens elicited amazingly even sound and a surprising variety of timbres from the extended trills and tremolos that dominate the latter part of the work, and the balances between soloist and orchestra were ideal. BluesKonzert is the best new concertante piano work I have heard in a very long time from an American composer.

No comments: