Timo Andres’s Home Stretch out on Nonesuch July 30
Timo Andres, piano
Andrew Cyr, conductor
ANDRES: Home Stretch
MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 26 in D, “Coronation” (Completed by Andres)
ANDRES: Paraphrase on Themes of Brian Eno
NPR Music: “First Listen” streams Home Stretch in its entirety this week.
Click here for the stream.
On Timo Andres’s upcoming Nonesuch album, Home Stretch (July 30, 2013), he performs with Andrew Cyr and the Metropolis Ensemble, pairing the title work with two reinventions of works by musical heroes Mozart and Brian Eno: Mozart’s “Coronation” concerto andParaphrase on Themes of Brian Eno. Album pre-orders are available now at nonesuch.com and include an exclusive print of the first page of the Home Stretchscore, autographed by the composer. To celebrate the release, Andres, artist and book designer Peter Mendelsund and the New Yorker’s Leo Carey will host a conversation about artistic influence. The event will be held at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe on July 30 at 7:00 PM, and is free. Andres will perform music from the record, including his own work and pieces by Brian Eno and Mozart.
Home Stretch was written for pianist David Kaplan and was conceived as a companion piece to Mozart’s Piano Concerto, No. 12, K. 414. Andres wanted the piece to reflect his friend Kaplan’s personality. Andres notes, “I knew I wanted Home Stretch to have something to do with fast cars, which David is obsessively interested in. The piece is in three large sections that gradually accelerate: beginning in almost total stasis, working up to an off-kilter dance with stabbing accents and ushering in a sturm-und-drang cadenza that riles itself up into a perpetual-motion race to the finish. However, there are always little ‘smudges’ of music from each section in the others, sometimes fitting into their new context, sometimes balefully interrupting.”
Also on the album is Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 26 in D, “Coronation,” completed by Andres. A virtuosic improviser, Mozart left much of the solo part unwritten as he expected to play the piece himself. In particular, the left hand is mostly absent from the original manuscript. Pianists generally play from a completed score that adds simple accompaniment patterns and harmonies for the left hand, but Andres’s treatment of the concerto takes a wholly different approach. He inserts his own voice into the left hand and ends the work with newly written cadenzas. He explains, “I approached the piece not from a scholarly or editorial perspective, but more as a sprawling playground for pianistic invention and virtuosity, taking cues from the composer-pianist tradition Mozart helped to crystallize.” The New Yorker’s Alex Ross wrote on his blog that the result is “mesmerizing.”
The recording ends with Andres’s Paraphrase on Themes of Brian Eno. Already an influential force in popular music history, Brian Eno is increasingly gaining recognition from classical composers. As Andres writes, Eno is a composer with “two quite distinct sides: as an innovator who works in ambient and collage music, and as a quirky and crafty pop songwriter. It’s all interesting, but the really amazing things happen when these musical personalities overlap and wear away each other’s surfaces.” In Paraphrase on Themes of Brian Eno, Andres focuses on Eno’s albums Before and After Science and Another Green World. He builds what he terms, “a nineteenth century style ‘orchestral paraphrase’ on the subject of Eno’s music.”
Home Stretch was recorded at Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood and was produced by David Frost. It is Andres’s second album with the Nonesuch label; his first, Shy and Mighty, was praised by the New York Times for its “inventiveness and originality,” and by the Guardian for the way it “glides across stylistic boundaries in a totally unselfconscious way.”
Timo Andres is a composer and pianist who grew up in rural Connecticut and now lives in Brooklyn, NY. His debut album, Shy and Mighty, which features 10 interrelated pieces for two pianos, performed by Andres and pianist David Kaplan, was released by Nonesuch Records in May 2010 to critical acclaim. Alex Ross wrote in the New Yorker that Shy and Mighty “achieves an unhurried grandeur that has rarely been felt in American music since John Adams came on the scene… more mighty than shy, [Andres] sounds like himself.” In the current season, Andres plays a solo recital of his own works alongside those by Chopin, Thomas Adès and Schumann for Lincoln Center’s Great Performers; a solo recital for San Francisco Performances, and a duo program with Gabriel Kahane for the Library of Congress. Commissions include a new piano quintet written for Jonathan Biss and the Elias String Quartet, presented by Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, and San Francisco Performances; a solo piano work for Kirill Gerstein commissioned by the Gilmore Foundation, and a new string quartet for the Library of Congress, to be premiered by The Attacca Quartet.
Leo Carey is a Senior Editor at the New Yorker magazine, where he has worked for 15 years. He was born in Oxford, England and studied English Literature at Oxford University. As an editor at the New Yorker, he has worked on a wide range of non-fiction. His own writings have appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Times Literary Supplement. In his spare time he plays the piano and cello.
Peter Mendelsund is the Associate Art Director of Alfred A. Knopf Books, the Art Director of Pantheon Books and Art Director of Vertical Press (and a recovering classical pianist). His designs have been described by the Wall Street Journal as being “the most instantly recognizable and iconic book covers in contemporary fiction.” His writing on literature, design and other matters can be found on his blog: jacketmechanical.blogspot.com. A book of his design work and writing, Cover, comes out Spring 2014.
New York-based Metropolis Ensemble is a Grammy-nominated chamber orchestra dedicated to classical music in its most contemporary forms.
Housing Works Bookstore Cafe is one of downtown New York’s most vital cultural institutions, presenting an eclectic mix of events — from readings and concerts to comedy nights and storytelling competitions -– featuring many of today’s most exciting artists. The bookstore is staffed almost entirely by volunteers and 100 percent of its profits go to Housing Works, Inc., which provides housing, healthcare, job training, and advocacy for New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS. As an independent cultural center, it offers patrons a unique opportunity to join the fight against AIDS and homelessness simply by buying or donating books; eating at the cafe; coming to concerts, readings, and special events; or volunteering on their staff.