some thoughts on piano concerti

Leading up to my decision to begin writing music for piano and orchestra, I listened, somewhat at random, to many, many concerti, both contemporary and not. I found fewer than expected that caught my interest (close to none, in fact). By and large, for whatever reason, even composers who have composed some of the most beautiful, lyrical music ever penned, seem to have felt obliged when writing for piano and orchestra to write overwrought music, full of pounding chords, pyrotechnical runs up and down the keyboard, and other such devices that are to be found in nearly every concerto composed for the past 200 hundred years or more.

So, listening to one after another, I found myself thinking, oh, boy, that’s not a model to follow. Do something different than that. That, of course, has made my work on this piece rather more difficult. The challenge with every bar has been to write something that will not sound too much like those I’ve just heard, and switched off well before getting to the end, with my reaction being best summarized by words like “meh” or “oy.”

Whether or not I succeed is another question, as yet unanswered. However it winds up, it will not be a pianistic tour de force.