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Conductor JoAnn Falletta speaks with John Clare

July 23, 2009

Acclaimed conductor JoAnn Falletta talks about her Grammy® award-winning Naxos recording with Hila Plitmann and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra of John Corgliano’s Mr Tambourine Man, the orchestra’s recently-released recordings of Schubert’s ‘Death and the Maiden’ and ‘Unfinished’ Symphonies, Daron Hagen’s opera about Frank Lloyd-Wright, Shining Brow, and other forthcoming Naxos recordings.

View JoAnn Falletta's interview with John Clare

CORIGLIANO Mr Tambourine Man, 3 Hallucinations
Hila Plitmann, soprano
Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
JoAnn Falletta, conductor


…A colleague suggested that I look into the poetry of the songs of Bob Dylan. Having not yet listened to the songs, I decided to send away for the texts only … and found many of them to be every bit as beautiful and as immediate as I had heard—and surprisingly well-suited to my own musical language…these would be in no way arrangements, or variations, or in any way derivations of the music of the original songs, which I decided to not hear before the cycle was complete…I intended to treat the Dylan lyrics as the poems I found them to be. Nor would their settings make any attempt at pop or rock writing. I wanted to take poetry I knew to be strongly associated with popular art and readdress it in terms of concert art—crossover in the opposite direction, one might say. Dylan granted his permission, and I set to work. John Corigliano

SCHUBERT Symphony ‘Death and the Maiden’, Symphony No 8 ‘Unfinished’
Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
JoAnn Falletta, conductor


Schubert’s music has been arranged by many other composers, though few have succeeded in amplifying the astonishing drama and pathos of a masterpiece such as the Death and the Maiden Quartet as has Andy Stein, who writes: ‘I have tried to create a late classical/early Romantic symphony out of this great chamber work, so that it perhaps would sound as if Schubert himself had conceived it in this form’. The reconstruction of the Scherzo of Schubert’s ‘Unfinished’ Symphony is based on fragments from the composer’s notebooks. The last movement uses segments from Schubert’s incidental music for Rosamunde, written shortly after he had set aside the Symphony, and which scholars believe may have been intended for its finale.

HAGEN Shining Brow
Robert Orth, baritone
Brenda Harris, soprano
Robert Frankenberry, tenor
Matthew Curran, bass-baritone
Elaine Valby, mezzo-soprano
Gilda Lyons, soprano
Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus
JoAnn Falletta, conductor


Daron Hagen and Paul Muldoon’s first, and highly successful, opera is based on the life of the great American architect Frank Lloyd Wright and Taliesin (Welsh for ‘Shining Brow’), the home he built for himself in Wisconsin. Popular with audiences and critics alike, Shining Brow has been hailed as a masterpiece full of fresh ideas, and is frequently performed. ‘Hagen has a gift for the big tune, and he serves up some beauties’ (New York Times). ‘Its libretto is unusually inventive and poetic’ (Capital Times).

JoAnn Falletta Biography & Discography

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Biography & Discography


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