Concerto No.3 for Piano and Orchestra Op.95 (2006)
III. Burlesque: allegro
Commissioned by a Consortium of 18 Orchestras
First performed on May 12th, 2006 at Uihlein Hall at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts in Milwaukee, Wisconsin by Jeffrey Biegel, piano with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andrea Delfs
"The big crowd...cheered the world premiere of Lowell Liebermann's striking Piano Concerto No. 3...the orchestra played this challenging new scored with the conviction it deserves...Arresting effects abound...They work within a large alternation of ferocity and tenderness that grows more and more affecting as the music unfolds."
Tom Strini, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"New concerto highlight of SBSO concert: It takes a special piece of music to make Johannes Brahms' Symphony No.1 in C minor the secondary piece on a concert's program, but the South Bend Symphony Orchestra presented one Saturday night at the Morris Performing Arts Center. The symphony and guest pianist Jeffrey Biegel's vigorous and exciting performance of Lowell Liebermann's Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No.3 introduced concertgoers to an intense but also entertaining new work. Under Biegel's organization, the symphony and 17 other orchestras co-commissioned the concerto....Consider the orchestra'scontribution to Liebermann's fee money well spent."
Andrew S. Huges, South Bend Tribune
"Liebermann's Concerto was quite a departure. Although he'd said the work was very difficult and virtuosic with many notes, Biegel played them and the double-fisted octave runs effortlessly. He sang the haunting melodies that permeated the work with much feeling. The concerto has a lot of vigor, color and some dark harmonies with dissonance, but always Liebermann came back to the lyricism, which he created with a master's hand. He doesn't develop his material in predictable ways. The first movement moved right along with tons of chords and scales and then suddenly under the fire was delicacy....The slow second movement was haunting and magical and showed off Liebermann's skills at pacing and keeping the interest. The third was a blustering giant's dance in which he inserted a bit of melodic ragtime and an echo of the second movement before finishing with a splash."
Geraldine Freedman, The Daily Gazette (Glens Falls)
"Centerpiece of the agenda was the Colorado premiere of the Third Piano Concerto by the American composer Lowell Liebermann...this entertaining and not overly threatening work may very well stick around for a while...this three movement work nimbly juggles modern atonalities and clashing harmonies with unblushingly charming throw-back melodies. There's even a foot-tapping ragtime segment...Liebermann calls up memories of the 20th century's concerto masters...but the third is clearly a work of this century...Friday's crowd seemed to love it."
Marc Shulgold, Rocky Mountain News
"Liebermann's Concerto was first and foremost superb piano music written by a superb pianist...his Op.95 crackled with a Beethovenian economy of means. Each successive theme and gesture somehow related to a compact step-wise mlodic cell that pervaded (along with a rocketing chain of fourths the thinking and unfolding of the piece. Liebermann linked a montage of moods and kaleidoscope of colors in a musical conversation of urgent clarity and unabashed, audience-friendly lucidity. Once heard, Liebermann's music begs to be heard again. ..the Third Concerto should have a long life and a chance at eternity. It is surely the best piece of new music the SSO has presented in the last 20 years."
Clifton J. Noble Jr. The Massachusetts Republican
"this brand-new concerto elicited a standing ovation."
Rowland Blackley, The News Journal
"An appreciative audience was treated to the east-coast premiere of (Liebermann's) Piano Concerto No.3 Op.95. This is a work that exudes melody from its very pores. It is filled with melodic riffs that lead the listener into dark chase scenes, followed by ascending harmonies that lift us ever upward, only to drop before reaching their goal, and then start again...there are laugh out-loud moments that made me think of Poulenc and Charles Ives; and one particular ascending section that made me think of Japanese music. But, despite these various influences, the sound finally comes out like Lowell Liebermann."
William Martin, Glens Falls Chronicle