The piece reflects Satoh's identity in its infusion of western instruments, 19th- and 20th-century harmonies, and an old European genre—the concerto—with traditional Japanese percussion instruments. The concerto is my favorite classical music genre, because it is about relationships—a subject that we are all concerned with. In the case of a concerto, the relationship is between the solo and the orchestra. Like in every relationship, the solo and the orchestra can sometimes get into a musical fight, have a discussion, tease each other, or complete each other’s sentences. A concerto is also a piece that aims to highlight the soloist and show off his or her musical and technical skills. However, Satoh’s piece is non-virtuosic, utterly lyrical, and the solo and orchestra are in almost constant agreement. It is the opposite of what you would expect from a normal violin concerto.
|"The Profile of Time" |
inspired by Salvador Dali's 1931 painting "The Persistence of Memory" ©Stephen Dawson
As you submerge into Satoh’s world, the heartbeat appears again at the end. It looks back to the beginning and recollects the path that the music has taken us through. But at the same time it has its own presence and meaning as it leads us to the end of the piece, simultaneously embracing past, present, and future.
To listen to Somei Satoh's Violin Concerto click here