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Scoring

3.3.3.3-4.3.3.1-timp.perc(4):tgl/whip/wdbl/tpl.bl/3tom-t/SD/cym/susp.cym/tam-t/t.bells/glsp/vib-strings

Abbreviations (PDF)

Publisher

Sikorski

Availability

World Premiere
6/16/2022
Concertgebouw, Amsterdam
Yefim Bronfman, piano / Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra / Jakub Hrusa
Composer's Notes

The music of my Double Concerto from 2017 was very personal and reflected my meditations about the mystery and meaning of Death. You possibly know a relevant quote from "Doctor Zhivago" by Boris Pasternak: "Art is constantly preoccupied with two things: It always meditates about Death and in this way inevitably creates Life". The introduction and both movements of the Double Concerto were based on the motif of Beethoven’s final movement of his String Quartet op. 135, "Muss es sein?" Only in the begining I use the motif in its retrograde form and later, of course, in all four forms.

I mention this because my Piano Concerto in a certain sense is a kind of a twin composition with my Double Concerto. The music material of all three movements is based on the same motif. I did it absolutely unconsciously in the begining, realised it only when I finished the first movement and was astonished how different the music is from the Double Concerto!
I would say only that in the Piano Concerto I concentrated more on the problems and questions of Life, but at the end everything is inevitably coming to the clock which reminds that everything has its end. As in the Double Concerto, the last movement of the Piano Concerto is the main and longest part of the music.
Elena Firsova

Press Quotes

“Firsova’s Piano Concerto recalls late Beethoven quartets, not in vocabulary but in the sense of an aging, powerful personality wrestling with questions of life and death. ... Bronfman made Firsova’s ghostly arpeggios and thundering octaves part of a compelling personal narrative, with the orchestra seeming to illuminate and expand on the piano’s inner life.”
Bachtrack

“Meditative - wistful - haunting - evanescent, gossamer textures...”
New York Times

Recommended Recording
cd_cover

Yefim Bronfman, piano/
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Jakub Hrusa
(p) and © 2023 Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest
RCO Live 9733870734

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