Commissioned by Copenhagen Phil, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra and Göteborg Symphony Orchestra
It’s been said before, Bent Sørensen’s music thrives in the intangible, from atmospheres to feelings, to memories and dreams. This is also true of his new piano concerto.
La sera estatica was composed during the Covid lockdown. Every morning, Bent Sørensen would cycle to his studio in midtown Copenhagen and compose. The inspiration came from home, where his wife, pianist Katrine Gislinge, would play concerts just for him, several times a week. While the rest of society was cut off from concerts, Bent Sørensen would enjoy Rachmaninov and Beethoven sonatas, Mozart piano concertos and his own nocturnes.
According to Sørensen, this can be heard in his piano concerto. Traces of the music, Katrine Gislinge had played for him.
It’s moulded into my music. There are quotes and short glimpses of other composers and works, but it’s painted over and melted together with my music.
The traces of these musical evenings can be seen in the score and heard when Katrine Gislinge plays La sera estatica. The piano concerto is, in other words, a musical autofiction.
La sera estatica is Bent Sørensen’s third piano concerto. It follows La Notte (Piano concerto no.1) and La Mattina (Piano concerto no.2). La Notte is about the night’s mysteries and dreams, and La Mattina is about the slow awakening towards the dancing day. La sera estatica is about the evening landscape, the falling darkness, but perhaps it’s a joyous darkness?
For many years, composing for piano was difficult for Bent Sørensen, until Katrine Gislinge and Leif Ove Andsnes awoke something in him. Now he truly understands the piano, and the piano understands him.