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Esa-Pekka Salonen

Publisher: Chester Music

Giro (1982)
Publisher
Chester Music Ltd
Category
Orchestra
Sub Category
Large Orchestra
Year Composed
1982
Duration
10 Minutes
Programme Note
Giro (Italian for "round" or "turn") is a result of a very long process. The first version of the piece was written in 1982 for my debut concert with the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra in Finland. The title refers to a harmonic model I used, in which seven chords turn around their middle point, producing constantly shifting, yet almost impressionistically luminous harmony.

I was not satisfied with the piece after the first performance - the orchestral textures were too complicated and fussy, and the form was unclear, lacking a coherent shape and a point of culmination. In those days 1982, I was aware of the problems, but did not know how to solve them yet. I decided to withdraw Giro, but also decided not to destroy the score. Fifteen years later, when Anssi Karttunen, then the Artistic Director of the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra, asked me to write an opener for my concert at the Orchestra's summer festival, I had the idea of looking at Giro from a new angle, with fifteen year's worth of experience as a conductor and a composer.

I simplified the rhythmical structures (previously tremendously complicated), optimised the instrumental writing, and - perhaps most importantly - reinterpreted the harmony in a almost tonal way. With help of a computer analysis program, I created imaginary fundamental bass notes, which would interpret each chord I used previously within the context of the harmonic series. In other words, every chord got a tonal function. This method allowed me to use full sonority of the symphony orchestra.

I also composed an entirely new section towards the end of the piece, and rearranged the previously existing formal units. The result is a short "Symphonic Poem" in the genre of Debussy's L'après-midi d'un faune or Sibelius' Oceanides. The form is now clear, and the orchestration totally functional. I also managed to preserve some of the original Giro's elusive character, which I still find very attractive.

© Esa-Pekka Salonen



  • Ensemble
    LA Philharmonic Orchestra / London Sinfonietta
    Soloist(s)
    Dawn Upshaw, soprano / Anssi Karttunen, cello
    Conductor
    Esa-Pekka Salonen
    SONY:
Performances
Date
Title
  • 05 MAY 2015
    Aula Magna Universita degli Studi Milan, Italy
    Orchestra Unimi
    Eugene Tzigane, conductor
  • 13 MAR 2014
    New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark, USA
    New Jersey Symphony Orchestra
    Jan Pascal Tortelier, conductor

    Other Dates:
    14 March - Richardson Auditorium, Princeton, USA
    15 March - New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark, USA
    16 March - Mayo Performing Arts Center, Morristown, USA
  • 13 MAR 2013
    NJPAC Newark NJ, USA
    New Jersey Symphony Orchestra
    Jacques Lacombe, conductor

    Other Dates:
    14-16 March - NJPAC Newark NJ, USA
  • 19 FEB 2011
    Giro
    L.A. Variations
    D'OM LE VRAI SENS Country Premiere
    Nyx World Premiere
    Presence Festival
    Theatre du Chatelet Paris FRANCE
    Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France
    Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor
  • 04 DEC 2008
    Gulbenkian, Portugal
    Gulbenkian Orchestra
    Lawrence Foster, conductor

    Other Dates:
    5 December - Gulbenkian, Portugal
  • 06 FEB 2005
    Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles
    American Youth Symphony Orchestra
    Alexander Treger, conductor
  • 24 OCT 2004
    Stockholm International Composer Festival
    Stockholm Concert Hall, Stockholm
    Norrköpings Symfoniorkester
    Hannu Lintu, conductor
  • 21 OCT 2004
    Norrköping, Sweden
    Norrköpings Symfoniorkester
    Hannu Lintu, conductor
  • 04 MAR 2004
    Aarhus, Denmark
    Aarhus Symphony Orchestra
    Tuomas Ollila, conductor
  • 18 OCT 2003
    Royce Hall, UCLA, Los Angeles
    American Youth Symphony Orchestra
    Alexander Treger, conductor
  • 03 OCT 2003
    Gãvle Symfoniorkester
    Sweden
    Gävle Symfoniorkester
    tbc, conductor
  • 11 SEP 2003
    St Petersburg Philharmony, Finland
    Turku Philharmonic Orchestra
  • 04 SEP 2003
    Concert Hall, Turku, Finland
    Turku Philharmonic Orchestra
    Tuomas Ollila, conductor

    Other Dates:
    5 September - Concert Hall, Turku, Finland
  • 01 JUN 2003
    Musik im 21. Jahrhundert
    Congresshalle, Saarbrücken, Germany
    Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Saarbrücken / Mitglieder des Tapiola Choir
    Lucy Shelton, soprano; Jukka-Pekka Saraste, conductor
  • 12 DEC 2002
    Kuopio Music Centre, Kuopio, Finland
    Kuopion kaapungunorkesteri
  • 10 OCT 2002
    Denmark
    Odense Symfonirkester
    Tuomas Ollila, conductor

    Other Dates:
    11 October - Denmark
  • 07 MAR 2002
    Musica Nova Festival
    Finlandia Hall, Helsinki
    Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
    Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor
  • 26 MAY 2001
    The Barbican Centre
    BBC Symphony Orchestra
    Jukka-Pekka Saraste, conductor
  • 16 JAN 2001
    Giro Country Premiere
    Paris
    Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
    Jukka-Pekka Saraste, conductor
  • 12 JAN 2001
    Vienna, Austria
    Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
    Jukka-Pekka Saraste, conductor
  • 07 OCT 2000
    Giro Country Premiere
    Luxembourg Conservatoire, Luxembourg
    BBC Symphony Orchestra
    Pascall Rophé & Tan Dun, conductor
  • 21 SEP 2000
    Turku, Finland
    Turku Philharmonic Orchestra
    Alexander Treger, conductor
  • 21 JUL 2000
    Turku, Finland
    Turku Philharmonic Orchestra

    Other Dates:
    22 July - Turku, Finland
  • 10 MAR 2000
    Giro Country Premiere
    Lisbon
    Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
    Jukka-Pekka Saraste, conductor

    Other Dates:
    11 March - Madrid
  • 07 JAN 2000
    Helsinki
    Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
    Jukka-Pekka Saraste, conductor

    Other Dates:
    20 January - Mikkeli, Finland
  • 06 JAN 2000
    Los Angeles, CA
    Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
    Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor
  • 11 SEP 1999
    Giro UK Premiere
    BBC Proms 1999
    Royal Albert Hall, London
    BBC Symphony Orchestra
    Sir Andrew Davis, conductor
  • 20 AUG 1999
    Helsinki Festival
    Helsinki
    Finnish National Opera Orchestra
    Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor
  • 29 JUN 1997
    Giro World Premiere
    Summer Sounds
    Porvoo, Finland
    Avanti! Chamber Orchestra
    Ernest Martinez-Izquierdo, conductor

Reviews
At its first British performance, Esa-Pekka Salonen's Giro proved to be a finely crafted miniature masterpiece: Salonen's glittering orchestra made up of several spindles on which everything seems to turn before the piece winds down to a tranquil close.
John Allison, The Times,9/1/1999
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