Preparing the Piano

What do a nine-pound steel ball, gaffer tape and small pieces of rubber all have in common? They help make classical music! In Thomas Larcher’s piano concerto Böse Zellen, the soloist “prepares” the piano by placing different materials on the strings of the piano. Tape is placed across the strings, small pieces of hard rubber are placed in between, and a variety of balls are rolled across the strings to alter the sound of the piano. Throughout the piece, the soloist gradually “un-prepares” the piano, so that by the end of the work the instrument is back to its original form.

ACO presents Thomas Larcher and Böse Zellen in the U.S. premiere on May 1, 2009 at Carnegie Hall.

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