Commissioned by Mackenzie Melemed and Diana R. Glimm, with support from The Juilliard School and the American Pianists Association.
Soloist exclusivity until June 2025.
I. Molto allegro con fuoco
II. Molto rubato, quasi una cadenza
I would describe the style of my Piano Concerto No 3 as post-modern Sturm und Drang: a work that expresses extreme emotions and sudden changes, from the depth of despair to complete ecstasy. Written in three movements, performed without breaks, the concerto bears some resemblance to traditional works yet explores new realms. The first movement begins in turbulence as if being thrown into the midst of an emotional storm. The movement is structured similarly to a traditional sonata form, in which the first theme group is percussive, sometimes violent, and includes much rhythmic complexity, and the second theme group is more melodic, yet sarcastic and negative nonetheless. A large cadenza leads back to a short recapitulation that drops into the depths of darkness at the beginning of the second movement.
The second movement is a slow set of theme and variations. The piano is used much like an Arabic Kanun with accelerating repeated notes adding to its direct expressiveness. The theme itself is like a burst of emotions and energy — negative and positive and always intense — the experience of these emotions leads to calmness and clarity. With each variation, this process repeats and the intensity of the emotions gives way to beauty; the beauty that lay beneath the turbulence of the music so far.
The last movement is a vivacious rondo encompassing a vast variety of notes, rhythms, colors, and octaves. It is a celebration of the pure energy, devoid of the negativity before it, exploding with love and ecstasy. That which was turbulent and threatening is now exciting and joyous.
— Avner Dorman