press release: Single tickets are now on sale at the Overture Box Office, 201 State Street, (608) 258-4141.
Apr. 7, 8, 9, 2017: Colossal Piano
John DeMain, Conductor; Philippe Bianconi, Piano
ROBERT SCHUMANN Manfred Overture
WITOLD LUTOSŁAWSKI Concerto for Orchestra*
SERGEI RACHMANINOFF Piano Concerto No. 3
Schumann, an enthusiast of Lord Byron’s poem Manfred, drew upon it as inspiration for his overture. The introduction begins with three abrupt chords, continuing with a sequence of sliding harmonies, suggesting the conflicting passion of Byron’s hero.
After eluding German capture during World War II, Lutosławski eventually made a living playing the piano in bars around Warsaw. A Polish composer, he drew upon the themes of Polish folk songs for inspiration in many of his works including his Concerto for Orchestra. First performed in Warsaw in 1954, this piece gave him notoriety in the West.
In his New York debut, Rachmaninoff created a virtuoso masterwork, one of the most technically difficult of all his piano compositions. The musical themes from Piano Concerto No. 3’s three movements are subtly interrelated, imposing a kind of organic unity on this work.