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Exclusive: Golijov withdraws his violin concerto from Berlin

No sooner did news of the world premiere start spreading on German sites, than it was followed by whispers that the concerto would not be not ready next month.

It has already been cancelled once – in Los Angeles last May, where it was substituted by the gorgeous Dutilleux concerto at the suggestion of Gustavo Dudamel. A year on, it now appears the concerto is still not written.

Nothing has yet been announced in Berlin, but I hear that the new Golijov has been quietly replaced on the programme by the Korngold concerto. The only confirmation so far is on the conductor’s schedule.

I very much hope Osvaldo can find his way back soon out of his creative block.

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  1. No other composers to steal from this time?

    • So the fact that it has been reported numerous times that Bergmann gave Golijov permission to use his work is just something you can ignore for a silly and false one-liner?

    • Brent Straughan says:

      Wasn’t it Stravinsky who said “Good composers borrow, great composers steal”?

      • I think the phrase attributed to Stravinsky was a corruption of an earlier line by TS Eliot: “Immature poets copy; mature poets steal.”

  2. Poor Golijov! If he weren’t so hounded by all these accusations, maybe he would have time to finish the concerto. Gestation seems so much more difficult for composers these days. Mozart knocked off a violin sonata in an hour, an overture the night before.

  3. Maestro Flash Montoya says:

    Maybe Golijov was plagarizing the Korngold concerto and Dudamel simply didn’t bother to check the name on the front of the score…

  4. C,mon Mr. LeBrecht join in and tell us why in the world we need another violin concerto ? To revive the Korngold Hollywood violin concerto is laughable . Jascha couldn’t make it go and to believe Kavakos can, is a bit much .

    • Just ask the top-rank violinists who are commissioning violin concerti on their own “why in the world we need another violin concerto?” Among other things, they are tired of performing and recording the same dozen or so concerti that everybody else is performing and recording.

      BTW the Korngold concerto can be a crowd pleaser, especially if performed by a fiddler with any sense of stage presence. And it is among the best-orchestrated of all major 20th-century violin concerti.

      • Ariel, believe it or not, but yes we do need another vilin concerto. Imagine if the genre ended at Mozart. And yes, we do need to hear the Korngold again. It is a very beautiful and moving work. And yes, I happen to love Golijov’s eclectic view of the world, so I can’t wait to hear his concerto. I really prefer to read musicLOVER’s opinions on this blog.

  5. Jan Bilder says:

    Of course! That makes it all OK, Waldo. The orchestras who commisisoned him for $75,000 were expecting a 20 minute original piece, but instead they got a 9 minute piece – 60% of which was composed by someone else and containing materials he’d already borrowed once before. Sure, Golijov is a class act, ain’t he!

  6. Sixtus – you know better ! violinists for public consumption always say they need new works and may even
    commission something new now and then as Ms, Hahn (amongst others) has with the Higdon work, without seemingly to note that it was second rate at best . It will be played by Ms Hahn for a while, recorded and enter the
    dust bin of music history . The top rank may be tired of the same old same old and they pretend they want something new but you know it is not the case – their concerts never venture far from the standard and I have yet
    to be aware of one player that has not sawed away at the Dance of the Goblins to touch on one same old . Most violinists
    are like sopranos of whom the great music historian Anna Russell noted “have resonance where their brains ought to be “. The Korngold is nothing but movie music in how Hollywood imagines a violin concerto would
    sound if written by a great composer- which Korngold wasn’t . That he was better than Williams is a given
    Korngold could not have written the violin drivel from the Schindler’s movie nor would he have expected
    some sort of “stage presence “he would have hoped the music would have carried the day,The concerto may
    very well be the best orchestrated violin concerto of the 20C ,but it is still all Hollywood “effects”. There are truck loads of good to great fiddle music out there to be played if only the “top rank fiddlers”would get off their
    comfort seeking rear ends and explore , but it is easier to pretend and complain instead of working .

    • Ariel, I’m happy to inform you that based on your comments on this blog, the Association of Armchair Music Critics(AAMC) is considering you for the prestigious “Bitter Musician of the Year” award for 2012. Congratulations!

  7. Thanks Waldo for the heads up – that you are privy to the inner workings of this most prestigious group- AAMC must
    also mean you have a certain defined position within this group of cave dwellers who believe that truth must
    always be born of” bitterness “. You have no idea what it is to bring ” Enlightenment ” to this sort of mind set .
    Having been told from childhood to be always kind and polite to the ignorant I shall be all that if the award
    does come my way . Dare I ask if you will be giving out the award ?

    • Dear Ariel,

      Please understand that I’m only the messenger and have no affiliation with the AAMC. I merely inform nominees of their candidacy. I do hope you win though, as I’ve certainly run across many musicians who would fit the nominating criteria, but possible none more than yourself. Your dismissive, painfully cynical, and downright negative posts are always a joy to read.

  8. If Mr. Lebrecht will permit a response – Waldo, modesty requires that I ask my name be withdrawn from consideration of the AAMC “Bitter Musician 2012 award . “Dismissive,painfully cynical no less and down-
    right negative has taken me by surprise – when all along I assumed the comments were but unassailable observations ..sort of “only the facts” mam…. and thus neutral as to feelings of dismissal, painful etc . not
    to mention that awful bitterness one must feel by having a practical view of a craft-art with which one is more than passingly familiar . The bitterness is usually with the one taking the medicine .
    If only you did find joy in reading my comments without the added angst ,but I fear you do not which
    should cause me bitterness but for some reason does not , I wish the committee the very best in its search
    for truth .

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