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Composers Datebook®

with host John Birge

Tuesday, November 26

A pre-premiere premiere by John Corigliano

Synopsis

On today’s date in 1997, violinist Joshua Bell and the San Francisco Symphony gave the premiere performance of an 18-minute “Chaconne for Violin and Orchestra” by American composer John Corigliano.

This music was a concert offshoot of Corigliano’s filmscore for Francois Gerard’s movie “The Red Violin,” but debuted months before the film itself was completed.

Said Corigliano, “I was delighted when asked to compose the score for Francois Girard's new film. How could I turn down so interesting and fatalistic a journey through almost three centuries, beginning as it did in Cremona, home of history's greatest violin builders? I also welcomed the producer's offer to separately create a violin and orchestra concert piece, to be freely based on motives from the film.

“I'd assumed that, as usual in film, I wouldn't be required to score it until it was completed, except for a number of on-camera "cues"… Then plans changed. Filming was pushed back. So the present ‘Chaconne’ was built just on the materials I had; a good thing, as it turns out, because I now had the freedom, as well as the need, to explore these materials to a greater extent than I might have had I been expected to condense an hour's worth of music into a coherent single movement.”

Music Played in Today's Program

John Corigliano (b.1938) selections from The Red Violin Joshua Bell, violin; Philharmonia Orchestra; Esa-Pekka Salonen, cond. Sony 63010

Additional Information

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