On today’s date in 1984, the Milwaukee Symphony and conductor Lukas Foss premiered a new work for narrator and orchestra by American composer John Corigliano. The new piece was entitled “Creations,” and was based on the creation story in the Biblical book of Genesis.
“Creations” began as a 1971 commission for a television pilot. The original idea was to have a variety of major composers illustrate in music selected chapters from the Bible, with the text narrated by Sir Laurence Olivier. The TV project fell through, and Corigliano thought this music for the pilot episode, “Genesis,” would remain unheard. But then, in 1984, Lukas Foss commissioned a revised version for a concert with the Milwaukee Symphony.
“Creations challenged me to write specifically for a recorded medium,” wrote Corigliano. “It also offered a chance to build music more abstractly than I’d done before… often out of pure sonority, rather than harmony and line. Much of my later work uses techniques I developed for the first time while scoring Creations… I envisioned the music as growing from abstract sounds into actual themes.”
Music Played in Today's Program
John Corigliano (b. 1938)CreationsSir Ian McKellen, narrator; I Fiamminghi; Rudolf Werthen, cond.Telarc 80421
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