John Corigliano: Winging It: III

This year, the World Piano Competition has added a new music component. Competitors are asked to prepare a short work by an American composer.

John Corigliano is quite prominent in the world of classical music. While not a pianist, Corigliano actually improvised, or played whatever came to mind, and recorded Winging It in 2008 and attempted to replicate what had been recorded as exactly as possible. This is from Mr. Corigliano’s website:

I needed an expert musician and technician to “translate” the notation. This is much more complex than it sounds. Since I improvised freely, there was no steady beat for the mechanism to insert measures. Mark Baechle was tasked with listening to what I played, and then trying to figure out how to put it into measures that made sense. There are many ways of notating the same music, so this required extraordinary musical experience.

Mark made his “translation” of what he heard and saw, and then I often re-barred it, or re-wrote it to clarify the moving voices or the right-left hand relationships. This happened several times until the written piece matched the recorded played one.

Ursula Oppens premiered the piece in 2009 at Symphony Space in New York.

Check out this video about Corigliano’s keyboard works:


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