RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra 2011-2012 Season
KEVIN VOLANS Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments (Piano Concerto No. 1) [21']
KEVIN VOLANS Symphony: Daar Kom die Alabama [20']
Isabelle O'Connell piano
Gavin Maloney conductor
'My pieces on today's programme have several points in common: both have an African connection - the Piano Concerto is written with African compositional techniques, and the Symphony refers obliquely to an African song. However, neither sound particularly African and both pieces are somewhat monolithic - there are no large changes of pace, no great changes of density, and no big climaxes. Each piece is quite comfortable in moving quietly forward without histrionics. The interest for me when writing them lay in the detail and in the (sometimes complex) textures and cross-rhythms. Although the basic pace of the pieces is moderate, the detail is often extremely fast (and difficult to play!). So, in listening to the pieces, don't expect something dramatic to happen, despite some sudden changes of texture - just let yourself drift and dwell in the moment, and if you like, enjoy the virtuosity of the performers.
But the mood of the pieces is quite different. The Piano Concerto is festive, carefree and even joyous in mood, whereas the Symphony is dark. Paradoxically, the Concerto, which is all about the earth, and to some extent about walking rhythms, was written overlooking the sea, whereas the Symphony - if it's about anything it's about the surface texture of the sea - was written largely in the middle of large land masses in Spain and Africa.'
COMPOSERS IN CONVERSATION
12.30pm in association with the Contemporary Music Centre
Tickets: Admission free | Ticketed event
Booking: 01 417 0000 or online