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Adès, poetry and improvisation – La Stampa

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The concerts of Rai Nuova Musica have resumed at the Toscanini Auditorium, now one of the very few channels in which we can listen to new music. The piece that attracted the most in the concert directed by Michele Gamba was the Concerto for piano and orchestra by the British composer Thomas Adès, presented in its first Italian performance at the same time as the concerts of Santa Cecilia in Rome. Adès expresses himself with naturalness and generosity of vein, mixing in the three canonical movements a direct style and a style of reference to previous masters; but the shadows of Rachmaninov, Ravel or Gershwin integrate well, in a curiously monocolor eclecticism, also because the piano writing often takes on the leading role: as in the second movement, which is extinguished in a beautiful “diminuendo”. Lively, vibrant performance by the pianist Alessandro Taverna who identifies with Adès’s characteristic vein of moving from whimsical improvisation to poetic introspection.

Little to say instead about “Repression”, an indefinite magma for a large orchestra, by Yikeshan Abudushalamu who in 2019 was the winner of the “Concorso Berio”. “Verwandlung III” by Wolfgang Rihm, 2010 version, confirms his ability to feed on Alban Berg and expressionism without falling into repetition; it is enough to feel the vitality of the solo drawings, almost cadences, of the wind instruments that go through these “transformations”. Finally, Adès again with the suite of his play “Powder her Face”, brilliant and witty, from the habanera moves of the Overture to the feline grace of Waltz and Finale.

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