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Marc-André Dalbavie, a young French composer who has been compared to Debussy for his use of orchestral color, was the first composing fellow in residence with the Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall. At a concert in May 2000, when Pierre Boulez was conducting a work by the young composer, the great pianist Mitsuko Uchida was soloist, and all of sudden it seeemd a very good idea for the younger man to compose a piano concerto. Shortly thereafter, he heard the brilliant Norwegian pianist, Leif Ove Andsnes in concert, and the die was cast. (The concerto received its world première last summer in London.)
Pianist Leif Ove Andsnes gives the first US performance of Marc-André Dalbavie's Piano Concerto at Severance Hall with the Cleveland Orchestra. Photo © 2006 Roger Mastroianni
Ripples and cascades of notes -- sometimes in octaves from the piano -- as well as scales, abound in this concerto, almost always in a descending mode. There are no electronic instruments employed, although there are slides and swoops in the trombones and a good many sforzandos (sudden loud note that rapidly diminishes in volume) throughout the entire brass section. Here and there were brief smidgens of minimalism -- patterns of notes repeated over and over, before changing into something else.
Copyright © 9 January 2006
Kelly Ferjutz, Cleveland USA