Campane di Ravello









3 flutes and piccolo, 3 oboes and english horn, 3 clarinets and bass clarinet, 3 bassoons and contrabassoon, 4 horns, 4 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion (6 players), harp, piano, and strings


4 minutes

commissioned by

Chicago Symphony Orchestra


Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Kenneth Jean, conductor; Symphony Hall, Chicago, IL (October 9, 1987)

Program note

I was asked by the Chicago Symphony to write a short orchestral work to honor Sir Georg Solti’s 75th birthday. During the summer I vacationed in Italy, and stopped in the magnificent hillside town of Ravello. On Sundays, the multitude of churches in Ravello and the surrounding towns play their bells, each in a different key and rhythm. The cacophony is gorgeous, and uniquely festive. My tribute to Sir Georg attempts to make the sections of the symphony orchestra sound like pealing bells: that tolling, filigreed with birdcalls in the woodwinds, provides the backdrop for a theme that grows more and more familiar as it is clarified. At the end, it is clear and joyous – a tribute to a great man.

– John Corigliano

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