PETER EÖTVÖS (b.1944): Cap-ko for Acoustic Piano, Keyboard and Orchestra, MARTIN SMOLKA (b.1959): Walden, the Distiller of Celestial Dews for Mixed Chorus and Percussion, BERND ALOIS ZIMMERMANN (1918-1970): Concerto for Violin and Large Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 10J119
Description: Eötvös' virtuosic concerto is both an homage to Bartók and a showcase for the compositional possibilities suggested by a particular type of electronic piano. Bartókian gestures are present in abundance, among which is an emphasis on parallel lines in two parts, a very characteristic gesture of the older composer's keyboard writing. Eötvös makes a feature of this through the ability of the electronic keyboard to be programmed to play simultaneously a second note with any note sound, at predetermined and variable intervals. Thus much of the fast passage work is characterised by this strange doubling, like an organ mixture but with piano sonority. Zimmermann's fiercely expressive concerto is even more of an exercise in unremitting virtuosity; dating from a few years after WWII it has all the hallmarks of a wartime work. The freely dodecaphonic central 'fantasia' movement alternates passages of intense lyricism with cataclysmic outbursts of violence, and in an extended sequence, an agonised and protesting peroration worthy of Shostakovich. Smolka's work sets texts of Thoreau in a deceptively simple, tonal idiom, disrupted by occasional quarter-tones, suggesting that today's society has little in common with the ideals and idylls of Walden - the piece is in fact a coded commentary on society's violence committed against the natural world. Pierre-Laurent Aimard (piano, keyboard), Martin Mumelter (violin), Wolfram Winkel (percussion), Bavarian Radio Choir and Symphony Orchestra; Peter Eötvös.