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Peter Lieberson, Vol. 3: Piano Concerto No. 3; Viola Concerto / Steven Beck, piano; Robert Diaz, viola. Odense SO

Album Summary

>Lieberson, Peter : Concerto for Piano no 3
>Lieberson, Peter : Concerto for Viola
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

At the time of his death in April 2011, Peter Lieberson had planned the present recording, a project he was never to hear realized. The present disc fills out our picture of Lieberson's accomplishments in the concerto genre, placing the spotlight on two previously unrecorded large-scale works, the Piano Concerto No. 3 and the Viola Concerto. The compositions assembled here complicate the perception that Lieberson's style evolved straightforwardly, the caterpillar of hard-as-nails maximalism metamorphosing overnight into the butterfly of sweet-smelling neo-romanticism, as exemplified in his masterpiece, "Neruda Songs." The Piano Concerto No. 3 synthesizes elements from Lieberson's previous efforts in the form, and brings the cycle to a brilliant and dramatic conclusion. Annotator Matthew Mendez calls the Viola Concerto "a big-hearted, eminently songful piece in the Walton mode." Lieberson wrote that: "My entry into composing the Viola Concerto was through my love of the viola sound itself. It's difficult for players, but the expression is very direct, so it's not a difficult piece to hear."

American Record Guide, November/December 2014
The Third Piano Concerto was composed for Peter Serkin; it was one of two finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in Music in 2004. The three movements were inspired by poetry: 'Leviathan' by the poem of the same name from Neruda's Canto General, 'Canticle' from St Francis of Assisi's Laudes Creaturarum, and 'Rondo' from Charles Wright's "Dog Creek Mainline". So, two worthwhile first recordings, spectacularly played by all, in unimpeachable sound. Matthew Mendez's notes (English only) are a model of clarity and readability.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Carl Nielsen Hall, Odense, Denmark (2012-12-17_2012-12-19&2012-).



Reviews

Ascetic yet sensual
Peter Lieberson admitted that, as a student, he could spend the day studying the twelve-tone music of Stravinsky, then go home and enjoy a Barber concerto. He thought it important to balance asceticism with sensuality. And that balance is present in these two concertos -- albeit not in quite the same places.

The Piano Concerto No. 3 (2003), is the final one in the series. The opening movement bristles with energy, unrestrained by the limits of tonality. After an introspective but softly dissonant middle movement, the work finishes with a flourish in a jazz-like style. To my ears, the work seems to lean slightly towards the ascetic rather than the sensual, although there's plenty of emotion contained in the music.

Steven Beck delivers a remarkable performance. The piano part is densely written, and sounds fiendishly difficult, yet Beck's performance is sure and authoritative. Even in the busiest of passages, Beck communicates the underlying organization of the music, demonstrating that every note is there for a reason, and he knows exactly what that reason is.

The Viola Concerto (1992/2003) leans a little more towards the sensual. Lieberson takes advantage of the dark tone of the instrument, giving it long, lyrical melodies that are unashamedly beautiful. The dissonances are muted compared to those of the piano concerto, although there are plenty of prickly passages throughout the work.
Submitted on 08/25/14 by RGraves321 
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Works Details

>Lieberson, Peter : Concerto for Piano no 3
  • Performer: Steven Beck (Piano)
  • Conductor: Scott Yoo
  • Ensemble: Odense Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Carl Nielsen Hall, Odense, Denmark (12/19/2012-12/21/2012)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 2003

>Lieberson, Peter : Concerto for Viola
  • Performer: Roberto Diaz (Viola)
  • Conductor: Scott Yoo
  • Notes: Carl Nielsen Hall, Odense, Denmark (12/17/2012-12/19/2012)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1992