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About the work
The first movement of Psathas' Three Psalms, Aria, features a simple kind of melodic motion that “tells the story” of the concerto, with a tendency for the melody to fall by step. The second movement, Inferno, was inspired by the haunting and deeply disturbing images in in James Nachtwey’s photographic elegy of the same name. Musically, energy is constantly atrophying in this movement, yielding to despair. It requires the positive energy of the entire final movement, Sergei: Book 3, Chapter 1, to pull one out of the pit, as it becomes a celebration of one of the most ebullient passages in piano concerto literature; the initial allegro passage in the first movement of Prokofiev’s third concerto.
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