Carl Vollrath composer
Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra | Petr Vronský conductor
Karolina Rojahn piano
On his Navona Records release THREE PASTELS FOR PIANO & ORCHESTRA, composer Carl Vollrath presents his three piano concerti, written between 2012 and 2015. Representing some of his most recent work, these concerti are connected to each other thematically, and in a way portray a different hue of the same color.
Vollrath prefers to regard these works as “pastels” since he approaches them with a functional intention, evoking imagery or scenery in an abstract way, allowing the listener to create their own interpretation. While written in a neo-impressionistic lexicon, these “pastels” are influenced significantly by Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, Bartók’s piano concerti, Eastern classical scales and folk music, and jazz piano. Performed by pianist Karolina Rojahn and the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Petr Vronský, the piano and various orchestral sections develop unique characteristics, supporting, contrasting, and complimenting each other. The piano’s lyrical personality weaves itself throughout the works’ movements, from sensual and controlled sections to frantic and spontaneous moments, employing jazz elements, chromaticism, and rhythmic emphasis to develop its narrative. Although these works have passages of dramatic flourish, Vollrath’s sense of lightheartedness remains a building block, placing ironic and witty phrases throughout to deliver a captivating, dynamic, and moving experience.