John Corigliano’s 9/11 Commemoration, One Sweet Morning
New York Philharmonic This Week
Friday, October 14, 2011
This week’s New York Philharmonic broadcast features last month’s world premiere of John Corigliano’s 9/11 piece, One Sweet Morning, under the direction of conductor Alan Gilbert.
Corigliano has composed more than 100 scores in his 40-year music career, nabbing four Grammy awards, the Pulitzer Prize in Music and an Academy Award for his score for the 1998 film The Red Violin. He was first asked to write a 9/11commemoration piece back in 2002, an offer he turned down.
The composer didn’t want the piece to become a tone poem – a piece of abstract orchestral music that attempted to depict the event, he told WQXR's Naomi Lewin.
So for One Sweet Morning, a four-movement piece, Corigliano used other images, “both to refute and complement the all-too-vivid ones we’d bring with us into the concert hall," he wrote in a program note.
Each of Morning's movements is set to a poem from a different age and country, sung by mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe. The texts are Czeslaw Milosz’s “A Song on the End of the World,” written in Warsaw in 1944; section of Homer’s Iliad; “War South of the Great Wall,” by the 8th century poet Li Po; and the poem that gives the cycle its name: “One Sweet Morning,” by E. Y. (“Yip”) Harburg.
Selections from Samuel Barber and Antonín Dvořák bookend the broadcast.
Barber: Essay No. 1.
Corigliano: One Sweet Morning, for mezzo-soprano and orchestra. (New York Philharmonic co-commissioned with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, World Premiere) Music sample from a previous iteration with a youth choir.
Dvořák: Symphony No. 7.