Here at Andres & Sons we’ve been ramping up activities related to two imminent premières: a new quartet for the Takács called Strong Language and a piano concerto for Jonathan Biss called The Blind Banister. The pieces were written back-to-back and are kind of fraternal twins, weighing in at 23 minutes and three movements each, but with very different characters. Of course it’s hard to find two more dissimilar forms than a string quartet and a piano concerto, each hard to one side of the public-private dichotomy. I tend to think of myself mainly as a chamber music composer—few things are more nerve-wracking than the process of writing for orchestra—but maybe I am finally ready to embrace it. I even wrote for timpani for the first time! Adding timpani is like adding proper capitalization and good formatting—suddenly whatever you’ve made looks like the genuine article.
I hope to post at least audio excerpts soon, if not entire pieces, so check back next month.