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The Red Violin - Concertos by Corigliano & Kuusisto

Composer John Corigliano
Jaakko Kuusisto
Performer Elina Vähälä
Lahti Symphony Orchestra
Jaakko Kuusisto, conductor
Period Contemporary
Catalogue Number BIS-2020 SACD
EAN 7318599920207
Format SACD Hybrid

This hybrid disc plays on both CD and SACD players
SACD Surround - SACD Stereo - CD Stereo

Release date Jul 2013
Total time 77'04 09/2013: "[Kuusisto Concerto:] This is a terrific concerto, effectively written and distinctively orchestrated and is brilliantly played by its dedicatee Elina Vähälä… [The Red Violin:] This is an attractive work superbly played by Elina Vähälä whose beautiful tone, as well as remarkable virtuosity, comes through clearly. Again there is excellent playing from Jaakko Kuusisto and the Lahti Symphony Orchestra."

John Corigliano's violin concerto 'The Red Violin' originated as the score to a film about a violin by one of the Old Italian master-builders, and its journeys around the world throughout three centuries. While working on the film score, Corigliano also produced a one-movement concert version of it, which he later expanded into a full-scale concerto in four movements. The son of a violinist, Corigliano’s aim was to write a concerto in a style his father would have wanted to play, and he has managed to do so without sacrificing any of the music's communicative qualities, or its wealth of colours, emotions and atmospheres.

The work is coupled here with a concerto of a similar broad appeal, composed by Jaakko Kuusisto, who is a highly respected violinist in his own right, as well as conductor. In his liner notes, Kuusisto recounts how he had toyed with the idea of writing a violin concerto for several years, but that the project only came into fruition after a commission from his colleague Elina Vähälä, and the liberating prospect of composing a work for another performer than himself.

Appearing for the first time on BIS, the acclaimed violinist Elina Vähäla has a wide-ranging career, both geographically and in terms of repertoire. She made her début at the age of twelve, performing as a soloist with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra, which lends her spirited support on the present disc, and also performs the orchestral piece Leika. Using the Icelandic word for ‘play’ as its title, Kuusisto’s composition displays a playfulness and wealth of colours that makes it a perfect curtain raiser for this appealing disc.
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01 Leika for symphony orchestra, Op.24 (2010) 11'35
  Jaakko Kuusisto
  Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Op.28 (2011–12) 30'35
02 I. Moderato – attacca – 14'52
03 II. Lento 8'51
04 III. Molto allegro 6'52
  John Corigliano
  Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, ‘The Red Violin’ (2003) 33'45
05 I. Chaconne 14'23
06 II. Pianissimo Scherzo 5'03
07 III. Andante Flautando 5'51
08 IV. Accelerando Finale 8'28
  Album total 77'04
ComposerCorigliano, John
Kuusisto, Jaakko
ConductorKuusisto, Jaakko
OrchestraLahti Symphony Orchestra
ViolinVähälä, Elina

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