[ Deutsche Grammophon / CD ]
Release Date: Friday 28 February 2020
In March this year, Thomas Adès, one of the most acclaimed and most frequently performed contemporary composers of our time, conducted the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Kirill Gerstein performing the world premiere of his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra. Comissioned by the BSO for Kirill Gerstein the work already is becoming part of the concert repertoire worldwide. This live recording of what turned out to be a ravishing celebration of contemporary music, receiving rapturous response from audience and critics alike, is paired on the album with Adès's 2013 work Totentanz.Totentanz brings together baritone (Mark Stone) and mezzo-soprano (Christianne Stotijn) soloists with a (very) large orchestra, unfolding a dialogue between a charismatic and gleefully macabre Grim Reaper and the procession of his many victims, from Pope to Maiden and Child.
"There is no such problem with the state-of-the-art recording, as everything comes across clearly. The Boston Symphony leaves nothing to be desired in their superb performances of the rather dense orchestral scores here and for the concerto." MusicWeb Recommended
"[The Piano Concerto] is immediately compelling, conducted here by the composer with pianist Kirill Gerstein, who inspired it, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, who then commissioned it, raucous in response…Trumpets then herald Adès's brilliant, rattling death dance…It's harrowing, thrilling stuff, Mark stone's implacable baritone wielding Death's relentless scythe as skeletons tap-dance in the orchestra and mezzo soprano Christianne Stotijn alternately bemoans and pleads." BBC Music
"Gerstein and the Boston Symphony pull the piano concerto off with flair but this performance [Totentanz] is a cut above...it can hardly have sounded as focused or as forensically brilliant as in Boston, with the same structural nous, sustained tension (tempos and volume are expertly ratcheted) and pronounced undertow...for proof that Adès does what he does with mind-boggling brilliance, look no further." Gramophone Awards 2020 WINNER - Contemporary