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Laurie Niles

Reviews of Chris Thile's Mandolin Concerto

September 18, 2009 at 5:27 PM

It looks like Chris Thile's Mandolin Concerto "Ad astra per alas porci" is getting a positive reception, and since we featured the interview with him several days ago, I thought you might be interested in the reviews coming out of his first performance of the piece Thursday in Denver with the Colorado Symphony (and there are two more performance of it in Denver on Saturday and Sunday) :

Kyle MacMillan of the Denver Post writes in his review: " assessing this work, it is better to set aside the mandolinist's star status in the bluegrass world and think of him as an up-and-coming classical composer with almost unlimited potential. The 25-minute piece would have been an admirable accomplishment for anyone. But considering that the mandolinist is just 28, is not classically trained and has never written an orchestral work before, it is nothing short of astounding."

I also received a link from Denver composer Chip Michael wrote a review in his blog: "While you might have expected something bluegrass given Thile’s background in the bands Nickel Creek and The Punch Brothers, his music was completely immersed in classical style. The opening of the piece quickly had his fingers flying across the fret board of the mandolin, while the orchestra created a series of rich colors and washes behind him."

Chip called this the "world's first mandolin concerto," I'm not sure about that, could it be?

Was anyone else there at the premiere? You comments are welcome, or links to other reviews.

I plan to attend the performance in LA, after which you will all hear from me as well!

Added Sept: 23:

A review by Robin McNeil from Opus Colorado

From Erin Rushforth
Posted on September 18, 2009 at 7:35 PM

Thanks, Laurie. I'm excited to hear this new work some time. As far as being the first mandolin concerto, what about the Vivaldi Mandolin concerti?

From Laurie Niles
Posted on September 19, 2009 at 2:58 AM

I figured there had to be some!

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on September 20, 2009 at 3:09 AM

Vivaldi wrote a mandolin concerto, and I bought a recording of it on vinyl years ago.  I listened to it a lot, and when I just heard it on youtube ( ), I remembered it.  Now I'm eager to hear Chris Thile's concerto.

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