The coming month will see Anders Hillborg’s two most recent concertos receive performances in Germany and the Netherlands. On 20 and 21 February Nicolas Altstaedt will perform the Cello Concerto will the Münchner Philharmoniker and Krzysztof Urbański, while on 5 March Lawrence Power gives the Dutch premiere of the Viola Concerto with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Osmo Vänskä.
Power gave the world premiere of Anders Hillborg’s Viola Concerto on 21 October last year, with the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Andrew Manze. The work is a co-commission between Frankfurt Radio, NTR ZaterdagMatinee, Swedish Radio, Basel Sinfonieorchester, Aspen Music Festival and, supported by Power’s Viola Commissioning Circle (VCC).
Ahead of the premiere of the 18-minute work, Power said: ‘Anders’ music is unique, which is why I wanted to feature him. He loves the collaborative side of commissioning – the back and forth of it – so I was quite involved during the writing process. He accepted my idea that you can present the viola in a heroic way, rather than the usual narrative of it being an elegiac instrument, so his concerto shows the instrument in a variety of roles. The work is energetic and rhythmic and I’m looking forward to performing it.’
‘Hillborg’s single-movement concerto proved to be the highlight of the evening… this texturally complex work was captivating… this work is an ideal length, harmonically complex and very approachable. Opening with an extended, vivacious, highly virtuosic solo, the work grew organically, exploring the range of sounds and textures from the body of strings. Often quite brisk, this intense work had some slower more relaxed moments, the quieter passages bringing contrast and spirituality. Power’s technical assurance was impressive, as was his unflagging endurance. Hillborg was in attendance and was extremely well received by the Liverpool audience.’
Bachtrack (Leighton Jones), 22 October 2021