"Life Past the Classroom and After the Orchestra"
The New York Times, January 27, 2008
A brief, newsy preview of the Brooklyn Philharmonic's 70th-birthday tribute to composer John Corigliano (photograph by Stephanie Kuykendal for The New York Times), a native son of Flatbush born on February 16, 1938. The festival starts this afternoon at 2pm at the Brooklyn Museum, with a chamber-music concert featuring Corigliano's Violin Sonata and Snapshot: Circa 1909. The main event is an orchestral concert this Saturday night at BAM, which includes a theatrically staged version of his Pied Piper Fantasy.
Complete details are available on the Brooklyn Philharmonic website, where you can watch a brief conversation between Corigliano and B.Phil music director Michael Christie in streaming video, and download a PDF of the complete schedule.
There's a lot more I'd like to have been able to say about Corigliano's music, not to mention his own view of his work, his thoughts on the current state of the concert-music world, his pride in his students (and not just those featured in Saturday night's post-concert hang at BAMcafe) and the reason he isn't especially interested in writing another opera. (He's learned not to say "never," though.) But space wasn't available; maybe that's an essay for another time.
One thing's certain, as La Cieca pointed out: Corigliano looks amazing. He could easily pass for 20 years younger. Being happy and fit clearly agrees with him, and his energy and enthusiasm were inspiring to behold. Here's to many more birthdays.
Also worth mentioning, although it didn't fit into the context of this piece, is another tribute scheduled for Sunday, February 3 at the Tenri Cultural Center. The American Modern Ensemble, in a concert called "1938," is playing pieces by a half-dozen newly minted or soon-to-be septuagenarians: Corigliano, John Harbison, Charles Wuorinen, Joan Tower, William Bolcom and Paul Chihara. The group will offer performances at 2 and 8pm; at least half the composers are confirmed to be attending.
Marillion - Friends and Family (Racket downloads)
Luciano Berio - Sinfonia; Ekphrasis - London Voices, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra/Peter Eötvös (Deutsche Grammophon); Coro - Cologne Radio Chorus and Orchestra/Luciano Berio (Deutsche Grammophon); Formazioni; Folk Songs; Sinfonia - Jard Van Nes, Electric Phoenix, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Riccardo Chailly (London); Sequenzas (complete) - various artists (Mode)
Slow Music Project - Aladdin Theater, Portland, OR, May 5, 2006 (DGMlive.com download)
Wayne Shorter - Native Dancer (CBS Jazz Masterworks)
Béla Bartók - Bluebeard's Castle - Eva Marton, Samuel Ramey, Hungarian State Orchestra/Ádám Fischer (CBS Masterworks)
Averse Sefira - Advent Parallax (Candlelight, due out Feb. 12)
Mark Hollis - Mark Hollis (Polydor)