Music Monday: Archer: Piano Concerto

As Kimberly Archer (b 1973) notes in her program note for today's piece, composing a piano concerto is “one of those nearly obligatory ‘composer benchmarks’” that almost all of us wind up tackling at some point or other in our careers. To be sure, there are times where this kind of expectation can feel stifling — most of us want to be individuals, not cookie-cutouts — but by the same token, seeing how a new person works in a familiar genre can be a quick and powerful way to get a handle on what they're about. The sheer number of pre-existing piano concerti gives a rich field for comparison without having to dive into the treacherous waters of comparing radically different kinds of works. Here's a form with a long and storied tradition; let's see what you make from it!

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