Frank Corcoran

irish composer

ON COMPOSING A MIGHTY CONCERTO FOR VIOLIN

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 my 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 at all , here is clear melodic line plus 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 or scale : 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 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”.

Posted under: Humble Hamburg Musings

Comments are closed.