The Astonishing Brad Mehldau with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra
RUDOLFINUM, SUNDAY 15 OCTOBER 2023 / 7:30 PM
Live broadcast of the concert / ČRo Vltava
...on Sunday 15 October in Rudolfinum! One of today’s most inspiring jazz pianists will present a project in which he alternates between interpretations of Bach’s works and solo improvisations on motives from Bach’s music. He will also perform his own Concerto for Piano and Orchestra. The performance will be led by Clark Rundell, a conductor with vast experience in a diverse range of genres. The concert will be broadcast live by Czech Radio Vltava.
Brad Mehldau (1970), an American megastar on the international jazz scene, is an improvising performer who moves across intersections of many different forms with confidence. He has recorded and performed extensively since the early 1990s. Apart from numerous other impulses that he can interpret in his distinctive manner, he has also been inspired by the classics throughout his career on which he can elaborate without the slightest hesitation. In the “Bachian” part of the evening, he will combine his own improvisations on motifs from Bach’s works with orchestral compositions that other prominent artists created in the 20th century based on Bach’s secular pieces.
Recently, however, alongside his improvisations on Bachian themes, Brad Mehldau has been stirring up another wave of interest with something completely new: his own Concerto for Piano and Orchestra – a proper composition that bears witness to his roots in jazz and other spheres, being considerably relaxed both formally and harmonically, but still following the contours and content pertinent to the classical form. This composition blends the symphonic sound of the musical accompaniment and heartfelt melodic solos that – despite countless rhythmic and harmonic changes – consciously refer to Herbie Hancock, the jazz legend to whom the piece is dedicated. In contrast to Mehldau’s solo improvisations, which often resonate as displays of immense virtuosity, the solo part of the concerto is conceived in a more narrative manner.
Brad Mehldau (1970)
Improvisation on themes from Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) / Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971)
Prelude and Fugue No. 10 in E minor BWV 855
Johann Sebastian Bach / Max Reger (1873–1916)
O Mensch, bewein’ dein’ Sünde groß BWV 622
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) / Anton Webern (1883–1945)
Fugue (2nd Ricercar) from The Musical Offering BWV 1079
Johann Sebastian Bach / Clark Rundell
Contrapunctus XIX from The Art of Fugue BWV 1080
Brad Mehldau (1970)
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra
Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra
Brad Mehldau – piano
Clark Rundell – conductor