Copland Appalachian Spring
Cresswell Piano Concerto No. 3 (World premiere)
W.A. Mozart Symphony No. 41, Jupiter
A bold pianist premieres the final work of a bold composer. Stephen de Pledge, lauded by the Independent on Sunday for his “stunning spring-loaded virtuosity,” has long championed Kiwi contemporary music, commissioning Lyell Cresswell’s first piano concerto. Cresswell completed and sent his third piano concerto to de Pledge in late 2021, several months before Cresswell passed away. We are honoured to present audiences with Cresswell’s final major work.
Cresswell heard in his own music a “clarity which is something to do with being in New Zealand, being quiet and nearer to nature.” A similar nature-inspired clarity pervades Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring. Depicting a wedding day in rural Appalachia, the work was justly celebrated for its “fresh and singing beauty” (New York Times).
Such lucid, unpretentious loveliness was anticipated by that great Classical leading light, Mozart. The Jupiter Symphony abundantly displays his ability to write tunes not simplistic but simple, not truncated but efficient, and not sentimental but moving.