A popular piano concerto, a world premiere and an orchestral favorite duke it out for top billing at the Utah Symphony this weekend. Which one will come out on top? It depends upon your taste.
First up on Friday was 30-year-old pianist Yu Kosuge, playing Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 24 in C Minor arguably among the top five concertos the prolific Mozart wrote for the instrument. Kosuge's performance was captivating. With her quiet but inviting interpretive voice, she showcased the sunshine and shadow that characterize so much of Mozart's work. In the second movement particularly, Kosuge's collaboration with the Utah Symphony woodwind section took on an intimate chamber-music quality, with the strings providing discreet and discerning support under Thierry Fischer's light-handed direction.
Friday's concert marked the world premiere of British composer Simon Holt's "Ellsworth 2," commissioned by the Utah Symphony. As Fischer explained before the orchestra returned to the stage, Holt took inspiration from Ellsworth Kelly's "Painting for a white wall," which consists of five different-colored rectangles, equal in size. Accordingly, "Ellsworth 2" consists of five movements, each 3 minutes in duration. The painting was projected on a screen at the back of the stage as the work began, then each constituent color was displayed as the orchestra played the movement that represented it.