John Adams wrote his third piano concerto for Yuja Wang, who gave its premiere in Los Angeles—recorded here—in March 2019. It takes its name from a phrase in a New Yorker article that piqued Adams’ curiosity: “The phrase suggested a ‘Totentanz’,” he wrote in the program notes, “only not of the Lisztian manner, but more of funk-invested American-style.” And that’s precisely what he responded to: a rhythmically driven, harmonically complex three-section piece that plays to Wang’s astounding technique and personality, and the LA Phil’s corporate virtuosity. It’s destined to become a modern classic. The solo “China Gates” is a perfect little encore
Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes?
Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes?: I. Gritty, Funky, But in strict Tempo; Twitchy, Bot-Like