Piano Concertos in radio feature

In a radio feature with the title 'Virtuoso Destructions', SWR2 Jetztmusik take a close look at contemporary piano concertos.

The programme includes the radio broadcasting of Christian Winther Christensen's Piano Concerto (2018) and Simon Steen-Andersen's Piano Concerto (2014)

Christian Winther Christensen's Piano Concerto was premiered at ECLAT Festival in 2019, one of the most experimental new music festivals in Germany. It is a close-to-silent homage to the piano concerto genre – a work based on clichés in a very quiet universe. Christian Winther Christensen often relates to music history through quotations and intimations and in Piano Concerto the piano functions both as a percussion instrument and as a narrative monster from the past with its big chords in A minor and G Major.

The work is based on a technique used in some of Winther Christensen’s previous works. The instrument is already pre-recorded, and the sound of it only comes out by touching the piano keys without pressing them down. Contact microphones respond to the sound of the pianist’s nails touching the keys, and behind the scenes, a ’ghost pianist’ is playing on a midi keyboard to control the pre-recorded material. 

Still from Simon Steen-Andersen: Piano Concerto (2014)
Still from Simon Steen-Andersen: Piano Concerto (2014)

Simon Steen-Andersen’s Piano Concerto received widespread recognition winning the special orchestra prize when it was premiered at the music festival Donaueschinger Musiktage in the fall of 2014. The work takes as its starting point the sound- and video recording of a grand piano falling onto a concrete floor from a height of 8 meters. From this Steen-Andersen composes an intricate dialogue between prerecorded audiovisual material and real-time musicians. The result is a spectacular genre-bending multimedia experience.

Besides from the two Danish composers, works by Malte Giesen and Franck Bedrossian are included in the programme.

The programme is hosted by Dirk Wieschollek and will be broadcast on the German radio station SWR2 on Tuesday, December 14 at 21.05 and will be available for online streaming for one month afterwards.

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