Naturally, the orchestration of this captivating work includes a wide range of “South American” percussion instruments, such as the marimba, maracas, bongos and guiro. The result is music that sweeps along with its concentrated energy – which can also be said about Alberto Ginastera’s neo-Expressionist First Piano Concerto, infused with pulsating rhythms. The work, commissioned by the Kussewitzky Foundation in the early 1960s, partially follows the principles of Schoenberg’s twelve-tone technique, but at the same time offers the soloist room to show off all his technical skills – not least in the final Toccata concertata. In the course of this frenzied rondo, the twelve- tone technique fades increasingly into the background as the music takes on the features of an increasingly exuberant malambo. The young Venezuelan pianist Sergio Tiempo makes his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker with Ginastera’s Piano Concerto.
The programme also includes Charles Ives’s Second Symphony. It is filled with echoes of American folk songs and other musical quotations – from marches and church hymns to the well-known song Camptown Races: a musical symbol of the melting pot that is the USA.