Graal théâtre

Graal théâtre

Commissioned by the BBC and VARA Radio 4, Netherlands.
Work Notes Dedicated to Gidon Kremer
Publisher Chester Music Ltd
Category Soloist(s) and Orchestra
Year Composed  1994
Duration 25 Minutes
Soloist Instrument(s)  Violin
Orchestration 2232/4221/4perc/
Alternate Orchestration violin; 1(pic).1.1+bcl.1/2.1.0+btbn.0/2perc/
Availability Hire

Scores on subscription

Programme Note
Graal théâtre (1994)

Graal théâtre (Grail theatre) takes its title from a book of the same name by Jacques Roubaud. While I was working on my violin concerto the book inspired me indirectly in two ways: firstly the title expresses the tension that I feel between the efforts of the composer when writing music and the theatrical aspect of a performance, especially in the case of a concerto, where the soloist, both physically and musically is playing a major role. Roubaud’s interpretation of the old legend with its very personal example, also encouraged me to realise something that I had long found impossible: to bring an idea of the violin concerto, a genre with so many moving and skilful masterpieces, into my musical framework and language,

The initial source of inspiration for the piece is the playing and musicianship of Gidon Kremer, to whom the piece is dedicated.

When compared to my other music, Graal théâtre is the exception in a long row of pieces in which I combine acoustic instruments with some kind of electronic extensions. Unlike these earlier works my starting point here was the delicate violin sound and its interaction with an orchestra.

© Kaija Saariaho