Corigliano: Violin Concerto No. 1 "The Red Violin”
Ernő Dohnányi: Symphony No. 2, Op. 40
20th century, yet no avant-garde. Leonard Bernstein is often looked upon as a composer of popular music, and the The violin concerto The Red Violin owes its existence to a film. Dohnányi is often regarded as Brahms’ late follower. Thus, the featured compositions are by no means mainstream modernist works, but are they really less forward-looking? Perhaps they are novel in a different manner than their contemporaries. These works are special in another way: They take a retrospective look into the future.
Although Bernstein’s Candide was inspired by Voltaire’s 18th century satire, its music is undeniably 20th century American. Candide’s question crosses centuries and continents: is there a better world? The Violin Concerto „The Red Violin” stands for one of those rare occasions when a film score inspired the birth of a classical music piece, as the violin concerto relies on the soundtrack of the movie „The Red Violin.” This piece is one of the most spectacular examples of a film music inspiring a composition created for a concert hall. Dohnányi’s Symphony No. 2 was penned in the turbulent days, when the composer was leaving Hungary fleeing from the Soviet army in 1944 while Hungary was under Nazi occupation. Even though, the work invokes some great Romantic pieces in many respects and even recalls Bach’s music in some parts, its message is uniquely different. Besides the tragedy, also Dohányi’s optimism, sense of humour and trust in a better future come to show.
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