Corigliano: Violin Sonata; Strang: Cello Concerto
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL215     Release Date: 2010-07-15

John Corigliano, Sr., violin; Ralph Votapek, piano;
Gabor Rejto, cello; Archie Wade, flute; Norman Benno, oboe; John Neufeld, clarinet; Don Christlieb, bassoon; Peter Hewitt, piano; Gerald Strang, conductor

Of the Sonata for Violin and Piano, John Corigliano tells us:
“The Sonata, written during 1962-3, is for the most part a tonal work although it incorporates non-tonal and poly-tonal sections within it as well as other 20th century harmonic, rhythmic and constructional techniques. The listener will recognize the work as a product of an American writer although this is more the result of an American writing music than writing 'American' music—a second-nature, unconscious action on the composer's part. Rhythmically, the work is extremely varied. Meters change in almost every measure, and independent rhythmic patterns in each instrument are common. The Violin Sonata was originally entitled Duo, and therefore obviously treats both instruments as co-partners. Virtuosity is of great importance in adding color and energy to the work which is basically an optimistic statement, but the virtuosity is always motivated by musical means. To cite an example: the last movement rondo includes in it a virtuosic polyrhythmic and polytonal perpetual motion whose thematic material and accompaniment figures are composed of three distinct elements derived from materials stated in the beginning of the movement. The 16th-note perpetual motion theme is originally a counterpoint to the movement's initial theme. Against this are set two figures—an augmentation of the movement's primary theme. and, in combination with that, a 5/8 rhythmic ostinato utilized originally to accompany a totally different earlier passage. All three elements combine to form a new virtuoso perpetual motion theme which is, of course, subjected to further development and elaboration.”

Concerning the music recorded here, Gerald Strang notes:

“The Concerto is the culminating work of a post-war series embracing the Three Excerpts from Walt Whitman (for a cappella choir), the Concerto Grosso, the Divertimento, and Variations for Four Instruments, as well as some smaller works. Technically, these works share a preoccupation with quartal sonorities; the use of twelve-tone rows for melodic purposes only; compact, concentrated structures; and non-tonal material which does not sound 'atonal.'

“All the prominent melodic material of the Concerto consists of straightforward transformations of twelve-tone series, stated twice at the initial 'cello entry. The 'cello never departs from this row, except in a few measures where it assumes an accompanying rule and the thematic material is picked up by another instrument.



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Various Artists

Corigliano: Violin Sonata; Strang: Cello Concerto

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Track Listing

Sonata for Violin and Piano: I. Allegro
John Corigliano
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Sonata for Violin and Piano: II. Andantino (with simplicity)
John Corigliano
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Sonata for Violin and Piano: III. Lento (quasi recitativo)
John Corigliano
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Sonata for Violin and Piano: IV. Allegro
John Corigliano
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Concerto for Cello with Woodwinds and Piano
Gerald Strang
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