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Concert review: Bachtrack

Bachtrack, 22 September 2019

“Grimaud’s assertive sound proved ideal for Bartók’s muscular, discursive piano writing, which the composer set against a surprisingly melodic orchestral foundation. She called attention to subtle influences across the concerto’s three movements, which were played breathlessly as one sustained narrative. The opening Allegretto brimmed with folk textures one might expect to hear, while the gentle Adagio religioso contained echoes of Debussy in its exquisite coloring. The concluding Allegro vivace vibrated with rhythms of jazz and ragtime. Grimaud’s assured approach made every moment of the 30-minute work sound fresh and invigorated, and Nézet-Séguin ideally balanced his forces, with particularly valuable contributions from the flutes and woodwinds.”

La Belle Hélène: Grimaud wows in Bartók with Philadelphia Orchestra

The program also featured a compelling world premiere from composer Valerie Coleman and a stirring performance of Dvořák’s “New World” Symphony.