Introitus is not a common piece of piano music. It requires exceptionally airy, immaterial playing, which she showed me because it came quite naturally to her. But I had to learn it and get used to it, and at the first performance I succeeded only partially. An Introit is the beginning, the introductory item, of the Mass, but the Mass, of course, does not take place in the work itself; and it is difficult to move toward something that does not actually occur but must be prepared for spiritually. This preparation has to take shape in the course of about twenty minutes, and the audience expects something, but nothing tangible happens. I've played this concerto on several occasions and in each instance, no matter whether the audience was made up of professional musicians or the general public, the long trill at the end would be followed by a long silence. The audience was as under a spell ... and then they burst out in applause. [quoted in Kurtz, op. cit., p. 137]Let's listen to a performance. This is Filipe Pinto-Ribeiro, piano and Mikhail Agrest, conductor with the Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra. The concert was in 2011:
Here is another performance, from 2009, with Drosostalitsa Moraiti, pianist with Goldsmiths Sinfonia under the conductor Alexander Ivashkin.
It would be safe to say that this is the exact opposite of a Tchaikovsky or Rachmaninov piano concerto! I am often fascinated with the ways composers find to end pieces in the absence of the traditional grammar of the cadence. The long trill here is very effective.
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