Corghi: Cruci-Verba in Darmstadt and Würzburg

Corghi: Cruci-Verba in Darmstadt and Würzburg

Two performances of Azio Corghi’s Cruci-Verba for spoken voice and orchestra are scheduled for the month of March, featuring two German orchestras: 
- March 18, 19, 20 in Darmstadt, the Staatstheater Darmstadt Orchestra and Choir, conducted by Will Humburg;
- March 30, in Würzburg, the Philharmonisches Orchester Würzburg, conducted by Enrico Calesso.

Cruci-Verba, which is subtitled Reading and comment on José Saramago’s The Gospel According to Jesus Christ along Franz Liszt’s Via Crucis, was written in 2001, and is the fruit of many years of intense artistic collaboration between Azio Corghi and Nobel Prize-winning author José Saramago. The two began working together in 1984, and Saramago’s novels would inspire Corghi operas like Blimunda (1989), Divara (1993), La morte di Lazzaro (1995), …sotto l’ombra che il bambino solleva (1999), De Paz e de guerra (2002), and Il dissoluto assolto (2005).
Corghi comments on Cruci-Verba:

What kind of “interferences” are created when you alternate readings of the last pages of Josè Saramago’s The Gospel According to Jesus Christ with Franz Liszt’s musical comment in Via Crucis?
The “verticality” of the Via Crucis program, for which Liszt used French instead of Latin, is offset by the “horizontality” of the readings from Saramago. Thus, the title, Cruci-Verba (“Crossword”), which can be interpreted any number of ways.
This opera is dialectic in form: reading and comment, spoken voice and orchestra, direct and indirect discourses. This is also on account of the tension between the words of Saramago, an atheist, and the music of Liszt, who was a Roman Catholic. The dialectic sees its lay exaltation in the words of Joseph, which a dying Jesus recalls as if in a dream: 
“Just as I cannot ask you all the questions, neither can you give me all the answers.” 

My “re-reading” ranges from the free transcription for orchestra of the original piano score, to the inclusion of self-referential themes that tend to “re-inhabit” history (in my case, the history of music), in an attempt to offer it as a metaphor for our daily experiences.

Cruci-Verba for spoken voice  and orchestra
2. 2. 2. 2. / 2. 2. -. -. / timp harmonium / strings
Duration: 40’

Photo: Michael Hörnschemeyer, Münster