Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg was the composer-in-residence for the New York Philharmonic Orchestra between 2009 and 2012, and the album at hand may be taken as representative of what results when a fast-rising composer meets well-established symphony orchestra. All three works here receive their recorded premieres. The Piano Concerto No. 2, which receives a stirring performance from Yefim Bronfman, is somewhat different in style from the orchestral works that bookend it and perhaps a stronger work. It's a brilliant, propulsive piece with a fine nocturne of a slow movement. There's a lot of density and some other styles thrown into the mix, but essentially it begins where Bartók's Piano Concerto No. 2 leaves off. In all three pieces there is a strong sense of one thing inevitably following another, and the concerto never drags. Lindberg is one of those composers who emerged from training in electronic music to write pieces for conventional instruments, and the orchestral works EXPO and Al largo (which includes a piano part) reflect that. They're full of exotic orchestral textures, and once again Lindberg has a nifty talent for knitting things together. The basic material of both works, however, left this listener without compulsion to hear it again. The Dacapo label's engineers get terrific sound from Avery Fisher Hall.
AllMusic Review by James Manheim
|Piano Concerto No. 2|