Concert reviews: 23 October 2019

The partnership of Thomas Adès and Kirill Gerstein was met with raptuous applause following the UK premier of Adès's new Piano Concerto, composed for Gerstein.

 

★★★★★ ‘Thomas Adès has sprung a joyous surprise with his new Piano Concerto. Known as a formidable intellectual, the 48-year-old British composer will get a reputation as a dangerously populist entertainer if he writes more pieces like this.’

‘Gerstein played the solo part with insouciant virtuosity and the LPO was on the ball too. It needed to be.’ Richard Morrison, 25 October 2019, The Times

★★★★★ ‘from the first bar it dispels any thought of neat conventionality as we are catapulted into a bold, bright soundworld where piano and orchestra vigorously fight it out; the tonality is wildly skewed, with the instrumental voices contending exuberantly; all three movements are so intricately packed with incident that one is tempted to simply let oneself be carried along.’ Michael Church, 24 October 2019, The Independent

★★★★☆ ‘[Gerstein] captured the kaleidoscopic sounds and textures, projecting over the orchestra but also happy to be part of the orchestra. He deserved his warm reception in the hall.’

‘Adès and the LPO threw themselves into [The Planets] with the necessary determination and vim.’ Bernard Hughes, 24 October 2019, The Arts Desk

★★★★☆ ‘Gerstein dispatched the cadenza in spectacular fashion.’

‘The playing could not be tauter at first but Adès – always alert to the pictorial impulse – drove things towards a luminous climax.’ John Allison, 25 October 2019, Daily Telegraph

★★★★☆ ‘[Adès's] Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, new this year, lies squarely in the line of its forebears, a showpiece in super-confident, eye-catching style.’ Richard Fairman, 25 October 2019, Financial Times