Ammann, Ravel & Bartók: Piano Concertos – Andreas Haefliger

October 20, 2020, 9:00 am

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When Andreas Haefliger conceived this unusual combination of concertos, it was with the aim of putting into perspective three pieces, each a unique and highly expres­sive highlight from the composers’ output. That Maurice Ravel’s Concerto for the Left Hand and Béla Bartók’s Third Piano Concerto fulfilled the requirements was a given: towards the end of his life, Bartók wrote his most lyrically expressive concerto, while Ravel, inspired by the qualities of the left hand register, wrote a piece full of dark yearning. The third work is a newly commissioned concerto by composer Dieter Ammann: Gran Toccata. Haefliger remarks: “Keeping tradition close by as an ally in the layering of harmony and rhythm, it explodes into futuristic visions in an extremely personal language and, through its kaleidoscopic colors and pianistic virtuosity, reinvents the genre for the 21st century.” The concerto was premiered at the 2019 BBC Proms, and Andreas Haefliger has since performed it in Boston, Munich, and Helsinki, where the present recording was made. On all three occasions, he has been partnered by Susanna Mälkki, chief conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra.