Ohlsson navigated the thickets of Dello Joio’s keyboard writing with aplomb.Dello Joio’s captivating concerto receives sterling premiere from Ohlsson, Gilbert & BSO14 Jan 2023
“Gestural in the best sense of the word, the concerto situates the pianist less as a hero struggling against the masses than as another voice lost in the chatter. Wisps of phrases flower into arpeggios that carry the energy forward. The orchestra frames the soloist in eerie sonorities before suddenly blaring at full force, like a dissonant shout chorus. The music ends as it began, fading into rustling wind, then an uneasy silence.
Throughout, Ohlsson and Gilbert probed the work’s depths. The pianist was both assured and subtle, the conductor a sturdy guide who let the at times see-sawing music unfold naturally. The audience rewarded the performers and composer with a warm ovation.”
“Garrick Ohlsson, one of the best pianists alive, grasped this nettle—gloves-off—with assertive confidence and even delight.”
“Ohlsson navigated the thickets of Dello Joio’s keyboard writing with aplomb. While much of Oceans Apart is decidedly dense and abstract, the motoric solo line alludes boldly to some of its dedicatee’s specialties, particularly composers like Beethoven, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, and Scriabin. The pianist dispatched these moments with evident relish, as he did the score’s clangorous denouement.”
Boston Classical Review