John Corigliano

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Belle
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John Corigliano

Post by Belle » Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:26 am

Two of my friends and myself are going to present to our music group "Music of Our Time" in 2020 and I'm thinking of John Corigliano. This will be a three, possibly, four program presentation and I've gone only one of these to present. I've heard Corigliano's Clarinet Concerto - which really impressed - but I'm wondering if people here can recommend other works of his which stand out and which represent this composer at his best. Our group is quite musically conservative so I wouldn't want to frighten the horses. I was hoping to present Schnittke as well but it seems the decision has been taken out of my hands! :(

Any and all suggestions appreciated.

John F
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Re: John Corigliano

Post by John F » Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:43 am

As I wrote on September 30, "One possibility for your group might be John Corigliano's Symphony No. 1. It's an attested masterpiece of the 1980s (winner of the Grawemeyer Award), it's composed in a listenable style, it tells a story and it relates to a major issue of our time.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphony_ ... igliano%29

Corigliano's comments on the symphony as both personal and universal:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LE5delIC0D4

There have been several recordings; here's one. It omits the epilogue which I've supplied from another recording.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KskXS9euKQY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQgo1sKGZYs

A review of a recent performance:

Review: The Searing Power of an AIDS Symphony
By Anthony Tommasini
May 31, 2019

During the late 1980s, as the AIDS epidemic became worse and worse with no end in sight, the composer John Corigliano did not shy away from responding to something so immense and horrific. When the Chicago Symphony Orchestra offered him a commission, he wrote a raw, seething symphony of rage and remembrance for friends who had died.

From its first performance, in 1990, Mr. Corigliano’s Symphony No. 1 brought catharsis and comfort to many listeners, and acclaim to its composer. It also stirred pushback from some critics who found the music too blatant: How many episodes of pummeling percussion, gnashing chords, screeching brass and sorrowfully wafting string melodies can one piece contain?

I used to share those reservations. But I hadn’t heard the work in a long while before Thursday, when Jaap van Zweden led the New York Philharmonic in a formidable performance at David Geffen Hall, part of the orchestra’s season-ending “Music of Conscience” series. Maybe some distance — the Philharmonic hadn’t performed it since 1992 — helped put the sincerity and intensity of the music, as well as Mr. Corigliano’s impressive technical skills, in perspective. I was engrossed.

The symphony fares best in live performance. On Thursday, the Philharmonic, with boosted ranks to accommodate a work scored for huge orchestral forces, held back nothing during din-like outbursts, yet also summoned shimmering sonorities during tender passages. The music seemed like an in-the-moment response to tragic loss.

The first movement, which reflects Mr. Corigliano’s anguish over the death of a pianist friend, begins with a nasal-twanged, persistent note that drives itself into your head, until slashing percussion and steely brass bludgeon it, if only for a moment. The movement then teeters between infuriated episodes and nostalgic passages, during which an offstage pianist plays bits of an Albéniz tango that Mr. Corigliano’s friend loved.

The second movement is based on a tarantella that Mr. Corigliano had written earlier for another friend, a record producer and amateur pianist. Here the dance keeps drifting into madness, where lilting rhythms turn frenzied and chords become distorted, as the music tries to depict AIDS dementia, often a last stage of the illness. During affecting stretches of the final movement, a forlorn melody is first played by a solo cello (here the superb Carter Brey) against streams of sound that become like undulant sonic waves — sometimes lulling, other times threatening.

The program began with a dark, majestic account of Brahms’s “Tragic” Overture. Then the thoughtful pianist David Fray was an elegant soloist in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor. If Brahms and Mozart seem preoccupied with troubling thoughts in these two works, neither piece quite fit with the “Music of Conscience” theme. No matter. Mr. Corigliano’s symphony did the heavy lifting on this night.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/31/arts ... eview.html

Corigliano's other major work is the grand opera buffa "The Ghosts of Versailles," which was premiered at the Metropolitan Opera. It's an opera within an opera; the frame opera is set during the French revolution and the contained opera, in a neoclassical style, is a sequel to Beaumarchais's Figaro plays. This is the end of the opera.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLpXfKJ03W8
John Francis

John F
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Re: John Corigliano

Post by John F » Wed Oct 16, 2019 1:44 pm

Back in 1970, Corigliano and David Hess created an "electric rock opera" based on Bizet's "Carmen" which they called "The Naked Carmen." If you want to shake up your group, play this version of the toreador song:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSSvJycr6CM
John Francis

Belle
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Re: John Corigliano

Post by Belle » Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:40 pm

Thanks very much for this. I won't have time to play the whole symphony as I'd want them to experience as many of the works as I can fit into the session. Ergo, which movement of the symphony would you recommend? Think I'll pass on the electric rock opera.

John F
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Re: John Corigliano

Post by John F » Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:31 pm

You're doing 3-4 programs on Corigliano and you don't have time for all of his most important work? Unbelievable. The symphony runs about 40 minutes, less than Beethoven's 7th, and there's no other music by Corigliano that is more worth hearing than what you'd be leavng out. Play the whole thing unless your group protests that they don't want to hear it.
John Francis

Heck148
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Re: John Corigliano

Post by Heck148 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:33 pm

Some good Corigliano works -

- Gazebo Dances - 4 short dances, quite readily approachable - 17 mins
- Circus Maximus [Sym #3 for large Wind Ensemble] - neat piece, pretty wild - 35mins/8 mvts
[Naxos Disc - Jerry Junkin - Univ of Texas WE]

- Three Hallucinations [from Altered States] - good stuff, pretty wild overall - 15 mins
[Naxos - J. Falletta/BuffaloPO]
- Phantasmagoria [Suite from Ghosts of Versailles] - 22 mins
- Violin Concerto ["The Red Violin"] - 39 mins
[Naxos - Falletta/BuffPO]

Belle
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Re: John Corigliano

Post by Belle » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:19 pm

John F wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:31 pm
You're doing 3-4 programs on Corigliano and you don't have time for all of his most important work? Unbelievable. The symphony runs about 40 minutes, less than Beethoven's 7th, and there's no other music by Corigliano that is more worth hearing than what you'd be leavng out. Play the whole thing unless your group protests that they don't want to hear it.
Sorry, I must have misled; our group is doing 3-4 programs on contemporary music and only one of them is mine.

Belle
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Re: John Corigliano

Post by Belle » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:21 pm

Heck148 wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:33 pm
Some good Corigliano works -

- Gazebo Dances - 4 short dances, quite readily approachable - 17 mins
- Circus Maximus [Sym #3 for large Wind Ensemble] - neat piece, pretty wild - 35mins/8 mvts
[Naxos Disc - Jerry Junkin - Univ of Texas WE]

- Three Hallucinations [from Altered States] - good stuff, pretty wild overall - 15 mins
[Naxos - J. Falletta/BuffaloPO]
- Phantasmagoria [Suite from Ghosts of Versailles] - 22 mins
- Violin Concerto ["The Red Violin"] - 39 mins
[Naxos - Falletta/BuffPO]
Thanks so much for this. I'll check them out and see if they're available on U-Tube as well.

John F
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Re: John Corigliano

Post by John F » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:06 am

OK, I get it. Then if you can only play part of the Corigliano symphony it should be the first movement.
John Francis

Belle
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Re: John Corigliano

Post by Belle » Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:33 pm

John F wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:06 am
OK, I get it. Then if you can only play part of the Corigliano symphony it should be the first movement.
Thanks. I'll listen, but I'm betting you're right about it. :D

Heck148
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Re: John Corigliano

Post by Heck148 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:48 pm

Belle wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:21 pm
Thanks so much for this. I'll check them out and see if they're available on U-Tube as well.
It should be noted, and this might help your presentation - might make an effective contrast -

The Last Gazebo Dance [1972] - Tarantella- was used again by Corigliano in the 2nd mvt [Tarantella] of his Symphony #1 "Rage And Remembrance" ..[1987-90]
His treatment of the material is very different - but the main Tarantella theme in the clarinet is identical...in the Gazebo Dances - it is pretty straight ahead, a vigorous, very energetic dance....in the later work, the music is beset with interruptions. tempo changes, all symptomatic of the AIDS-produced dementia/insanity that afflicted its victim....much darker, more sinister treatment...but the main tune is identical.

Lance
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Re: John Corigliano

Post by Lance » Thu Oct 17, 2019 7:40 pm

This is a performance I don't have on record, the Symphony No. 1. I very much enjoyed his Fantasia on an Ostinato and have prepared pianos for this work. But the Symphony No. 1 has a number of recordings. I am thinking about the RCA with Slatkin conducting. Another with Barenboim conducting, and yet another on Naxos and a few others. Any particular recommendations?
Lance G. Hill
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
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Belle
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Re: John Corigliano

Post by Belle » Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:04 pm

Heck148 wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:48 pm
Belle wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:21 pm
Thanks so much for this. I'll check them out and see if they're available on U-Tube as well.
It should be noted, and this might help your presentation - might make an effective contrast -

The Last Gazebo Dance [1972] - Tarantella- was used again by Corigliano in the 2nd mvt [Tarantella] of his Symphony #1 "Rage And Remembrance" ..[1987-90]
His treatment of the material is very different - but the main Tarantella theme in the clarinet is identical...in the Gazebo Dances - it is pretty straight ahead, a vigorous, very energetic dance....in the later work, the music is beset with interruptions. tempo changes, all symptomatic of the AIDS-produced dementia/insanity that afflicted its victim....much darker, more sinister treatment...but the main tune is identical.
I very much appreciate this information and your comments. Thank you.

Heck148
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Location: New England

Re: John Corigliano

Post by Heck148 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:10 pm

Lance wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 7:40 pm
This is a performance I don't have on record, the Symphony No. 1. I very much enjoyed his Fantasia on an Ostinato and have prepared pianos for this work. But the Symphony No. 1 has a number of recordings. I am thinking about the RCA with Slatkin conducting. Another with Barenboim conducting, and yet another on Naxos and a few others. Any particular recommendations?
The Barenboim/Chicago is excellent...I taped the original broadcast concert, and, IIRC, the live tape is actually better than the excellent studio recording...

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Re: John Corigliano

Post by Lance » Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:51 am

Thank you! I'll check it out!
Heck148 wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:10 pm
Lance wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 7:40 pm
This is a performance I don't have on record, the Symphony No. 1. I very much enjoyed his Fantasia on an Ostinato and have prepared pianos for this work. But the Symphony No. 1 has a number of recordings. I am thinking about the RCA with Slatkin conducting. Another with Barenboim conducting, and yet another on Naxos and a few others. Any particular recommendations?
The Barenboim/Chicago is excellent...I taped the original broadcast concert, and, IIRC, the live tape is actually better than the excellent studio recording...
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

Heck148
Posts: 3560
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2003 11:53 pm
Location: New England

Re: John Corigliano

Post by Heck148 » Sat Oct 19, 2019 9:55 am

Belle wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:04 pm
I very much appreciate this information and your comments. Thank you.
Another good piece by Corigliano -

Flute Concerto "Pied Piper Fantasy" ['81] - an extensive tour de force for the soloist and orchestra....the final section - "Children's March" stands alone quite well as an individual presentation..
James Galway/David Effron and Eastman Philharmonia produced a fine recording of this work.

Belle
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Re: John Corigliano

Post by Belle » Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:44 pm

Thank you. All recommendations noted and written down!

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