The Dutch pianist Ralph van Raat performs two of the three piano concertos that the American composer John Adams wrote. Eros Piano, Adams’ first piano concerto, composed in 1989, was inspired by Riverrun, a piano concerto by Japanese composer Tory Takemitsu, as well as the music of the jazz pianist Bill Evans. John Adams composed his second piano concerto Century Rolls in 1997, commissioned by the renowned American pianist Emanuel Ax. The piece reflects on the piano music of the bygone century, with odes to such composers as Gershwin, Rachmaninov and Satie. The Belgian National Orchestra brings the evening to an end with the Symphonic Dances by Sergey Rachmaninov. In his last composition the Russian master looks back on his life in a nostalgic way with quotes from his earlier works. In the third movement he incorporates both the Dies Irae theme – a symbol of death – and the Hallelujah from the orthodox liturgy – a symbol of resurrection.
Symphonic Dances, op. 45