JOHN CORIGLIANO: Symphony No. 2 for String Orchestra (2000); Suite from the Film ‘The Red Violin’ (1997) for Solo Violin, Timpani, Percussion, Harp and Strings – Eleonora Turovsky, violin/ I Musici de Montréal/ Yuli Turovsky – Chandos

by | Aug 16, 2006 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

JOHN CORIGLIANO: Symphony No. 2 for String Orchestra (2000); Suite from the Film ‘The Red Violin’ (1997) for Solo Violin, Timpani, Percussion, Harp and Strings – Eleonora Turovsky, violin/ I Musici de Montréal/ Yuli Turovsky – Chandos Multichannel SACD CHSA 5035, 62:28 ****:

John Corigliano is one of the most respected American composers today.  Some of the most important musical institutions have performed his works.  His opera The Ghosts of Versailles was the first new American opera performed by the Metropolitan in decades.  He could not be said to possess a general style,  since he is diverse and experimental in all his music, which covers a wide range of modern musical expression.

Corigliano has written three symphonies so far.  This one was commissioned by the Boston Symphony to commemorate its 100th anniversary.  He expanded his l996 String Quartet to string orchestra, rethinking the work and coming up with five movements: Prelude, Scherzo, Nocturne, Fugue and Postlude. The opening movement tells the players to use their practice mutes rather than the performance mutes. The resulting whisper of sound may have you turning up your level – don’t. The wider dynamic range of SACD is just right for this movement, but you’ll need to listen closely in a very quiet listening room or perhaps on headphones. The next movement breaks the quiet with manic chords in the strings. Corigliano says the Nocturne was inspired by the various calls of the muezzins at mosques which he heard while on vacation in Morocco.

Corigliano’s two well-known film scores have been for Altered States and The Red Violin. He condensed the music of the film sound track into a short violin concerto which takes the music’s theme thru several centuries. Eleonora Turovsky, who is married to cellist-conductor Yuli Turovsky,  is a fine soloist in the work, her long-limbed melodic lines coming from a spot somewhat left of center on the soundstage. Chandos’ surround sonics are crisp and detailed as usual.

 – John Sunier

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