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Aaron Jay Kernis

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Concerto for Violin (2017)
Work Notes
James Ehnes is the exclusive soloist until March 2021
AJK Music
Soloist(s) and Orchestra
Year Composed
32 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)
Unavailable Explain this...
Programme Note
Aaron Jay Kernis Concerto for Violin (2017)

  • 23 MAR 2018
    Concerto for Violin Country Premiere
    Berlin, Germany
    DSO Berlin
    James Ehnes, Violin; Leonard Slatkin, conductor
  • 06 APR 2017
    Dallas, TX
    Dallas Symphony
    James Ehnes, violin; Gustavo Gimeno, conductor

    Other Dates:
    7,8 April - Dallas, TX
  • 16 MAR 2017
    Concerto for Violin US Premiere
    Seattle, WA
    Seattle Symphony
    James Ehnes, violin; Ludovic Morlot, conductor

    Other Dates:
    17,18 March - Seattle, WA
  • 08 MAR 2017
    Concerto for Violin World Premiere
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Toronto Symphony Orchestra
    James Ehnes, violin; Peter Oundjian, conductor

…the movement builds in intensity, and after a pyrotechnical cadenza closes with a tutti chord followed by a single pizzicato note.

Ballad, the blues-inflected central movement, allowed Ehnes to contrast melting lyricism with trenchant melancholy, once again against a beautifully coloured sonic backdrop. Energetic and not without a sense of humour, the concluding Toccatini (as the composer suggests, the name for a new martini) bubbles over with musical ideas all designed to showcase Ehnes’s astounding technique.
Tony Way, Limelight,15/04/2018
The first impression of the half-hour work is how quintessentially American it is. Just as when listening to a lot of music one can tell without knowing the composer whether it is Slavic or French, German, Russian, or English, so there is an unmistakable American flavor here.

Kernis uses a harmonic language in the concerto which is atonal but not muddy. There is little melody one can hum. His writing is dense and complex but at the same time with enough transparency to hear inner lines. His deft use of instrumental color is abundant, often using the winds as foil for the busy violin, with plenty to discover in further listening.
Philippa Kiraly,,18/03/2017
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