2002, Il Sogno sleevenote

Pretty self-explanatory
Posts: 14286
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2003 4:37 pm
Location: Dublin , Ireland

2002, Il Sogno sleevenote

Postby johnfoyle » Mon Mar 07, 2005 5:11 pm

Thanks to mcramahamasham for posting this , along with all the other 'notes , in another thread here - I'm posting them individually for easier access.


Early in 2000, I received an invitation to attend a performance in Reggio Emilia of the Aterballeto production, “Paradiso” based on the writings of Dante. The intention was also to discuss my participation in their upcoming adaptation of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. In truth, I had little or no understanding of the world of dance. When asked by a very serious French publication, “Who is your favourite dancer?” I had replied honestly, “Cyd Charrise”.
However, I became fascinated by the grace and dynamism of a company as guided by their individual and imaginative choreographer, Mauro Bigonzetti. By the end of the evening, I had agreed to provide the musical score for “Il Sogno”.
I deliberately set aside modern methods involving computers, preferring a pencil and paper. The two hundred page score was completed in approximately ten weeks, the latter one hundred and seventy pages being written against the pressures of a deadline, directly into full score. Apart from the occasional advice of one of my composing or conducting colleagues, I worked without a collaborator. However, I must acknowledge all the patient and careful work of Allen Wilson, who prepared the printed material.
Rehearsals for the first performance were not completely without comic interludes; celesta players who disappeared without warning leaving dancers making unaccompanied entrances and a failure on the part of the composer to appreciate the difference between a jazz drummer and an orchestral percussionist being asked to play “time”.
Due to a breakdown of communication, I arrived to find a harpsichord in the orchestra but not a hammer dulcimer in sight. The orchestral management had assumed the request for a “cimbalom” was a misspelling of “cembalo”. Only days before the opening night, a Romanian traditional folk musician was located working in a restaurant in Rome. He didn’t read music but managed to memorize much of the intended part, although his presence in the orchestra pit almost triggered a rebellion in the viola section. I apologize for this addition to “viola player” folklore but it is the truth.
The premiere of the dance production took place at the Teatro Communale in Bologna on October 31st 2000. It was also staged at a number of other Italian houses. Following an creation of a “production only” recording by the Orchestre de Teatro Communale, Aterballeto toured the work using taped accompaniment in theatre and studio venues throughout Germany, France, Russia and at a solitary performance at the Orange County Center for the Performing Arts.
Following the interest from Deutsche Grammophon in making a fully realized recording of the music, I began this adaptation to a concert work. I was very fortunate to be able to discuss the matter with Michael Tilson Thomas, who examined the score with me, bar by bar, asking many invaluable and challenging questions. Subsequently, I made a number of small additions and revisions to the piece.
The experience of hearing the music performed in Bologna lead me to approach the drummer, Peter Erskine to augment the orchestral percussion section for the recording. I also composed additional parts for the saxophonist, John Harle.
“Il Sogno” was recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra and these guest soloists, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, at Abbey Road Studios, London in April 2002.
-Elvis Costello

User avatar
Man out of Time
Posts: 1115
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:15 am
Location: Belgium / West Midlands

Re: 2002, Il Sogno sleevenote

Postby Man out of Time » Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:49 pm

From the website of La Repubblica (Italian newspaper), comes this photo credited to Iguana Press and Roberto Serra.

Sogno di una notte di Mezza estate.jpg
Bologna, 26/10/2000
Sogno di una notte di Mezza estate.jpg (69.24 KiB) Viewed 975 times

It shows the Composer and his score and is dated 26 October 2000, some days before the premiere of the dance production referred to in the sleeve note. From the sleeve note is is clear that Elvis was present at some rehearsals for the performance, so this may have been taken at one of those.


Posts: 14286
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2003 4:37 pm
Location: Dublin , Ireland

Re: 2002, Il Sogno sleevenote

Postby johnfoyle » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:05 pm

This feature from the time clarifies things a bit -



He was happy to take on the commission. The musical score for the ballet was written over the summer, after close consultations with Bigonzetti and his associate Nicola Lusuardi.
"Every aspect, from the dramatic outline and choreographic intention to the stage design was examined in relation to the musical content. I then returned home to Dublin to write and orchestrate each scene in the production," Costello would subsequently recall.
At the end of October, he was back in Bologna. Europe's Capital of Art 2000, to complete orchestral rehearsals and to promote the ballet.

Return to “Elvis Costello General Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], IbMePdErRoIoAmL, sulky lad and 11 guests