In Monday’s (3/16) Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tennessee), Jon W. Sparks reviews the Memphis Symphony Orchestra’s Sunday night concert. “The Masterworks presentations featured the MSO-commissioned world premiere of ‘New Work for Piano and Orchestra’ by Joel Hoffman and performed by renowned pianist Awadagin Pratt. As Maestro David Loebel explained, the two-movement piano concerto uses its own musical vocabulary. Piano and orchestra seem unconnected in the first movement but find common interest in the second. Hoffman claims Eastern European folk music and bebop as influences, but this piece also encompasses the spirits of contemporary composers George Crumb, John Cage and Luciano Berio. … The colorings and textures were amazing, generated alternately by orchestra and pianist. When the second movement got underway, the overlap of instruments held sway with rich and detailed conversations.” Other works on the program were excerpts from Wagner’s Die Meistersinger and Brahms Symphony No. 4.
Posted March 17, 2009