13 May 2022

CORIGLIANO: The Red Violin, Chaconne for violin and orchestra

From Music Alive, 8:01 pm on 13 May 2022
Amalia Hall

Amalia Hall Photo: Scottie Peng

Performed by violinist Amalia Hall with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by James Judd.

Music from John Corigliano’s score to Francois Girard’s 1998 film The Red Violin. It’s probably the acclaimed American composer’s best-known work for which he won an Oscar.

The film was inspired by an historic 18th century Stradivarius violin nicknamed the "Red Mendelssohn", which features a unique red stripe on its top right side. The film concerns a great violin maker named Nicolo Bussotti, based on the real-life luthier Antonio Stradivari, who supposedly mixes the blood of his deceased beloved wife into the varnish of what is to be his most precious creation. And the film follows this infamous and cursed violin as it passes from owner to owner and country to country over three centuries.

Unusually, most of the score was written before the shoot began and not afterwards, as typically happens in the production process. The plot of the film is bound together with a single musical idea – a Chaconne, a Baroque device of a repeated pattern of chords that forms the basis for John Corigliano’s music.

Recorded 13 May 2022, Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington by RNZ Concert

Producer: David McCaw

Engineer: Darryl Stack

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