Yet more acclaim for 'Duet'

Yet more acclaim for 'Duet'
George Benjamin's Duet (2008) for piano and orchestra has been gathering enormous praise ever since its premiere at the Lucerne Festival in 2008. The latest performances, with the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie and pianist Martin Helmchen, were no exception. This extraordinary work now travels to the USA for performances with Peter Serkin and the National Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Oliver Knussen) on 3-5 November, in Washington DC.  

'...his 2008 composition Duet for Piano and Orchestra is a further example of the pronounced sound-sensibility of the English composer, the last pupil of Olivier Messiaen - shimmering filigree, chamber-like airy music... and an unexpected, almost virtuosic intensification of musical action just before the close.'
Frankfurther Allgemeine Rhein-Main-Zeitung (Harald Budweg), 22 September 2011
                                
'...Duet for Piano and Orchestra composed in 2008, abounds with sound-fantasy ...It was fascinating how the distinguished soloist Martin Helmchen was able to take on the imitative challenges and evoke percussive sound-splinters and wind sounds on a Steinway. This masterpiece duet is actually written in the spirit of a Mozart piano concerto...'
Kieler Nachrichten, Segeberger Zeitung (Christian Strehk), 22 September 2011
 
'The Duet for Piano and Orchestra by George Benjamin appears distinctly fascinating. The Brit, who in Gütersloh in 2000 attracted attention as an excellent Messiaen conductor, is also very able to deal with the orchestra as a composer. How, with an ostinato in the Harps, Doublebasses and Piano he created an arch of suspense, how he released the piano sound from that of the violin, contrasting this also with equally dark timbres equally in the orchestra, shows the intellect used in fostering such a sense of style and shape...'
Neue Westfälische (Matthias Gans), 20 September 2011
 
'An expressive dialogue arose between the dark-coloured Orchestra (without violins) and the piano soloist Martin Helmchen, without going against each other, but as it were, in search of a common argument.'
Frankfurter Neue Presse (Ulrich Boller), 21 September 2011