Certainly I will compose a Cello Concerto. How ? Certainly great Dvorak towers. Logical, Lutoslawsky´s Concerto is Music Drama of the highest order. When then ? This blessed night ?!
How then ? ( – Well, eg. for a start, mine is not the tonal option of Dvorak´s lovely and virtuoso washed sheen, his parallel sixths at high orchestral velocity , his aching sequences, cadential constructs and Slavic sighs and beautiful B Minor – yoked functional harmony.
I´ll also wish to prepare my very personal version of my personally ” drama” ( “Agony” is a fine word still ), my very own: Solo Versus Orchestra, Great Titan Against Great Many Them, ahem, yes, my ploy´s quite different from the Polish Master´s masterly tension graph. How?
Corcoran must ( once again ) invent his wheel, must sketch his musical syntax for his 2012 – 2013 Cello Concerto. Major principles of musical psychology holding on in the macro-wave , let´s say, so in the micro-wave how´ll he construct his initial “A then B then C” , that beautiful bane of all great composers´ humble musical alphabets after the Final Atonal Revolution? ( – we mean: its latest date was about 1913 – ish, a possible earliest date around Gesualdo, Wagner, such shades ; – but more on this in a near future, my Humble Hamburg Musing, – I have no doubt at all on this, ahem, score. ) . We mean by this, surely, that the poor man must choose even his basic motivic moves , all cello leps, mighty orchestral thin or thick massing, eg. he has to chose , say, ” C, A, Z, B,” etc. plus the well-known , -sung, – heard and -used motivic operations , blah, on this little start.
Follow ? Nein? Okay:
I´ll keep to a scale, seven sturdy notes ( – they often stood me stead ” sa bhearna bhaoil” ).
Neither minor nor major but, yes, Corcoran. With these seven tones, build me then my three great movements, my mighty soloist-plus-orchestra clash by night struggle, my heard accompaniment of My Dark Cello´s Great Song, Lush Dream Sounding. My tones will suffer, sing, die.
high, my post-Dvorak-and-Lutoslawsky
FRANK CORCORAN – VIOLIN CONCERTO
February 9th, 2012 by Frank Corcoran
Certainly I had to study Berg , Beethoven and Max Bruch and them all; how to make my new Concerto sing and soar, how thin out the accompanying orchestra ( eg. I use no tuba, little enough brass, sparing percussion ) to let the violin get lift-off at the opening of my Movement 1.
The Slow Movement then wrote itself, the solo line singing its three ( sad ? – Are they sad ? ) verses before the Cadenza and final wisps of string.
In the fast semiquavers of the last 3. Movement, I composed the lightness of being. So it´s: Fast / Slow / Fast approximately, this well-tried formula of this exciting violin concerto genre. The writing is deliberately pared down. eg. it´s metred, gridded music all through , no complex polyrhythms or controlled aleatory, here clear melodic line and accompaniment .
My work is taut, lean, lyrical, leppin´, a true concerto that looks back and looks forward.It learns from Mozart in the last movement´s fast passage-work. There´s something, – of course there is, of Mendelssohn, Brahms and all the rest in the opening movement´s orchestral tutti pitted against the weak-strong strength of the solo line.
The Slow Movement is certainly a ” Lied Ohne Worte”, pure amhrán. It has to be.
So what´s my whole ( shortish , packed, compact ) orchestral work ? – Un poco “music about music” ? Maybe. As in several recent works ( eg. my 2011 CLARINET QUINTET or the 2008 ” 9 ASPECTS OF AN IRISH POEM” for Large Choir and Solo Violin ) my building-blocks are a simple 7 – note row : G A flat C sharp D E flat F sharp and A. That´s it. With these seven tones I construct a mighty sounding edifice, in these three movements a concerto ( in full flight) of fiddling fun and violinistic seriousness and art´s sorrow and fast, furious, last orchestral thoughts. “Quasi Un Concerto “? – No, the real thing, but a concerto of our time, my seven tones re-living ( at least a century of violin concerti without being in the least neo-tonal or neo-this and that. I´ll call it also: ” The One And The Many” ; “Four Strings Against The Rest”; or we should subtitle its three supple, subtle movements perhaps: ” Announce The Event” , ” Sighing Song” and “Lightness Is All”.