Francisco Coll on his writing his concerto for Patricia Kopatchinskaja

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Patricia Kopatchinskaja will premiere Francisco Coll’s new Violin Concerto on 13 February with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg under Gustavo Gimeno.

 

One of the world’s most distinctive violinists, Kopatchinskaja has already performed Coll’s Four Iberian Miniatures, Hyperludes, Rizoma, LalulaLied, and the double concerto Les Plaisirs Illuminés. The concerto has been co-commissioned by the OPL & Philharmonie Luxembourg, the NTR ZaterdagMatinee, London Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony and Bamberger Symphoniker, an impressive list of partners that is a testament to Coll’s growing international reputation. The partnership of composer and interpreter, meanwhile, is nothing short of ideal: not only do both artists constantly push their disciplines to extremes, they also both delight in exploring the absurd and surreal.

 

Francisco Coll writes about the genesis of the concerto:

 

“I can't find the words to express my gratitude to the extraordinary people who made this project possible: I owe its existence entirely to the vision, talent and generosity of Gustavo Gimeno and Patricia Kopatchinskaja. In November 2016, thanks to the foresight of Gustavo, Patricia and I had a magical, and extremely fortunate, first meeting in Valencia – the kind of meeting where feelings of trust and deep friendship were evident from the very first minute. Soon after that, the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg – who certainly seem to know how to make a composer very happy – set in motion the commissioning of this Violin Concerto, joined by several other orchestras. 

 

The three years it took me to write this Concerto were a unique and marvellous experience. By the end of the first year the initial sketch was completed, and a mysterious, lonely time followed. A unique and very necessary dialogue opened up between the work and myself, which allowed me to add overlooked aspects, to get rid of everything unnecessary and, finally, to focus on filing away the rough edges. During this process it was exciting to see the Concerto transforming itself – like some great elastic animal – into something different; my initial idea was too obvious a plan, and I am happy that the music itself was able to alert me to this. The Concerto encouraged me to face things that I had never done before. It seemed to be telling me: ‘don't try to please a conservative public, or the institutionalized avant garde, just write what you hear, and dare to fail’. An uncontrollable energy emerged from nowhere, a poetic beauty of a kind I had never consciously aimed toward rose to the music’s surface.

 

Gradually, I have begun to understand this Violin Concerto as a portrait of Kopatchinskaja. Like every portrait, it includes traces of its creator alongside unique and personal reflections on its subject. One of the most exhilarating experiences of my creative life, it has expanded and, I hope, enhanced my perspectives as an artist.”

 

Other forthcoming works include Lilith – a 11-minute commission from the Orquesta de Valencia, with whom Coll is Composer in Residence – which will be premiered on 8 May.