Gardner's new Steinway given a vigorous inauguration
Piano proving grounds don't come more efficient than Pierre Boulez's Piano Sonata No. 1, utilizing more of the instrument every 20 seconds than most pieces do in their entirety. On Sunday, pianist Paavali Jumppanen powered through the piece to inaugurate the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum's new Steinway piano. It was a vivid glimpse of the vehemence with which Boulez and his generation drew their atonal line in the post-World War II sand — as was Boulez's Sonatine, with Jumppanen joined by flutist Paula Robison.