Ohlsson’s performance of this demanding score is nothing short of heroic.The Boston Globe: Highlights from a year of local listening29 Dec 2023
Reflecting back on the year about to end, the final Classical Notes column of 2023 brings together eight notable recordings by local artists, composers, and ensembles.
One of the first musical events of the year was the premiere of Justin Dello Joio’s piano concerto “Oceans Apart” by pianist Garrick Ohlsson and the Boston Symphony Orchestra under conductor Alan Gilbert. A live recording drawn from those concerts (Bridge) reveals a keen ear for unusual instrumental sonorities and a fascinating juxtaposition of grand, sweeping rhetoric (especially in the piano writing) and a highly chromatic musical language. In stretches the two forces seem to work in tandem, but much of the time they seem pitched against one another, deftly capturing the image referred to in the composer’s note of a surfer dwarfed by immense waves. Ohlsson’s performance of this demanding score is nothing short of heroic.