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Piano Concertos 2&3 from David Chesky / stereophile review

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Given that David Chesky has just followed the digital release of his Second and Third Piano Concertos with a January 13 performance of his Violin Concerto No.3 by Rachel Barton Pine and the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, some might say he's on a roll. Others, listening to the pace of two new piano concertos inspired what liner notes writer Harold Lester calls "the chaos of [Chesky's] adopted New York City," might instead think "roller coaster."

Using the same Chesky-assembled Orchestra of the 21st Century as on The Spanish Poems recording that he released six months earlier, but this time with himself as soloist, Chesky launches into a "collision of atonal harmonies in counterpoint." That some of the music in Concerto No.2 for Piano and Orchestra (2017) is atonal is, to these ears, secondary to the frenzied pace of the 6-minute opening movement. Chesky's fugal writing and counterpoint add extra life to a non-stop experience that could leave some holding on for dear life, and cause more than one caged hamster to jump off the wheel.

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