"Reformulation of the genre" Winther Christensen's Piano Concerto reviewed

“The good old piano concert is alive!” one critic exclaims after experiencing Christian Winther Christensen’s Piano Concerto (2018) at Ultraschall Berlin.

Winther Christensen’s Piano Concerto was performed by Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin and Rei Nakamura, conducted by Bas Wiegers on 20 January.

The critic from Opern- & Konzertkritik Berlin states that the Piano Concerto exists in “thin air of sound,” and continues: “The work undertakes an interesting reformulation of the genre. The interested listener only hears the electronically amplified sounds of the fingers touching the keys and the muffled tapping of the hammers on the dampened strings. The sound painting is notoriously ironic, airy here, gloomy there, always sparse, always fascinatingly light. The ludicrous repeating patterns of the endless trills of the cadenza have a completely ghostly effect.”

While the critic from Opern- & Konzertkritik found Winther Christensen’s work celebrating the life of the piano concerto, the same concert makes the reporters from Ultraschall ask if someone killed classical music: “It is as if the orchestra starts to breathe - but then decides that this does not belong in the sound world of the piano concerto,“ the reporters writes, and add: ”The interplay between the soloist and the orchestra is interesting: the prepared piano, played by Rei Nakamura, gives impulses that are picked up by the orchestra in an amazingly similar timbre, so that the boundaries between the instruments become blurred.” 

Deutschlandfunk Kultur spoke with the soloist Rei Nakamura about the work in an interview available here >>

A live-recording from the performance is available online >>