“The hypnotically iridescent colors in a new piece by composer Philip Lasser, that cast the strongest spell.”
Philip Kennicott – The Washington Post
Composer Philip Lasser’s “The Circle and the Child: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra” Featured on Simone Dinnerstein’s Sony Classical Album “Broadway-Lafayette”
Album released February 24, 2015
“The Circle and the Child: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra,” written by American composer Philip Lasser, is featured on Simone Dinnerstein’s album, Broadway-Lafayette (Sony Classical), which also includes George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” and Maurice Ravel’s “Piano Concerto in G Major.” The concerto, written for Dinnerstein, was recorded with conductor Kristjan Järvi and the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra, and produced by Grammy-winner Adam Abeshouse. Dinnerstein recorded Lasser’s “Twelve Variations on a Bach Chorale” for solo piano on The Berlin Concert album (Telarc).
Composed in three movements, “The Circle and the Child” speaks of memory, inner voyage, and closeness. It travels along such paths, revisiting memories colored by the experience of living. Hence, the image of the child who represents the repeating cycles of life, that ceaseless circle, from life to life.
“The concerto begins with a simple 5-note C-major scale and takes this motive into domains strange and far,” says Lasser. “This scale, found deep in the Bach chorale, Gestirn’, Ihr hohlen Lüfte, (You stars in heaven, you vaulted sky), morphs and bends throughout the entire concerto, acting like a ruler, measuring how far we have travelled from our point of origin.”
Dinnerstein gave the world premiere of Lasser’s piano concerto with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in October 2013, led by Miguel Harth-Bedoya; she performed it again in 2014 with the Boulder Philharmonic and the Shreveport Symphony, led, both times, by Michael Butterman.
Click here, to listen to samples of “The Circle and the Child.”
Click here, to listen to an interview with Lasser and Dinnerstein.
“Having been trained in the counterpoint-rich tradition of Nadia Boulanger, Lasser plumbs Germanic depths while managing to distil them on a Gallic surface without seeming superficial.”
Ken Smith – Gramophone