Grammy winners Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, along with pianists Katia and Marielle Labéque, released the world-premiere recording of Philip Glass' newest concert work, his Double Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra on Orange Mountain Music exclusively on iTunes. The digital-only recording is also available.
Recorded during its world premiere at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles in May 2015, Glass' Double Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra was composed for soloists Katia and Marielle Labéque in the fall and winter of 2014-15 and commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, Göteborgs Symfoniker and Orquesta Nacional de España.
April 23rd, 2015
The Double Piano Concerto was composed for the Labèque Sisters in the Fall and Winter of 2014-2015. It was commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and will receive its world premiere in Los Angeles in May of the year, 2015.
The Orchestre de Paris, Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, Göteborgs Symfoniker, and Orquesta Nacional de España are all co-commissioners and will be presenting their own premieres in their home cities in the coming year.
Like many people involved in today’s music I have long been an admirer of Katia and Marielle Labèque’s performance of traditional and new concert music for duo pianos. I was very happy to hear their brilliant playing and interpretative skills with my own music – first with the 2007 work, Four Movements for Two Pianos and then, more recently, the Two Movements for Four Pianos. This last work was premiered by the Labèques along with additional pianists Dennis Russell Davies and Maki Namekawa. I was very pleased when they suggested a new work – the present double concerto.
The work itself follows the three movement form in which many concertos are conceived. However in this case the first and second movements are both fast and the slow movement is the third and last part of the concerto.
Also it seemed that there were enough ‘fireworks’ in the first two movements as to make an additional cadenza for the soloists unnecessary.
Again the relationship of the soloist to the orchestra is not the usual one, contrasting the smaller duo with the larger orchestral ensemble. Instead the music of the soloists is shared between the two and the orchestra serves to extend the range and color of the soloists.
Finally, in the last few years I have had the pleasure of working with the LA Philharmonic on projects very important to myself. This included a live performance of Koyaanisqatsi at the Hollywood Bowl as well as the West Coast premiere of Symphony No. 9 conducted by John Adams. I look forward with great pleasure to working with them again.
"Glass' new concerto has no lack of vitality, not with the Labèques, and he intentionally avoids transparency. Instead he employs the pianos as added glitter and grit to the big orchestra.
The first movement is exuberant. At 78, Glass is long past his own infatuations with straightforward cadences and has become a master of arresting chord changes. A similarly fast second movement, however, begins a process of tonal darkening, with double basses producing an ominous unpinning to the pianos. The third movement begins in, and retains, a solemn quiet.
Dudamel kept the pulse in the background and brought out broad expressivity. "
The concerto was premiered on May 28, 2015 with Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel conducting
KML / OMM