Sir Harrison Birtwistle
Antiphonies | for piano and orchestra - Work Introduction
This work is not a “piano concerto” in the way the term is usually understood; it is a struggle between the solo instrument – perhaps a struggle for survival – and the menacing, often demonic powers of the orchestra.
The winds and percussion dominate the sonic character while the strings, except for one short melodic fragment, remain in the background. Slow forte sections unleash the full orchestra, between moments of Impressionistic calm, where the piano part seems like an improvisation, a fantasia - until the struggle resumes …