Louis Andriessen (1939-2021)

La Girò (2010 -2011)

for amplified solo violin and large ensemble

  • General information
    • Composition date: 2010 - 2011
    • Duration: 24 mn
    • Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes
    • Dedication: à Monica Germino
Detailed formation
  • soloist: violin
  • 2 flutes (also 2 piccolos), 2 oboes, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet, 2 horns, trumpet, 2 percussionists, harp, piano, cymbalom, 3 violins [à 5] , 3 second violins [à 5] , 2 violas [à 4] , 2 cellos [à 3] , 2 double basses

Premiere information

  • Date: 5 September 2011

    Italie, Milan, Teatro Dal Verme, MiTo Festival


    Monica Germino : violon, London Sinfonietta, direction : David Atherton.

Program note

When Enzo Restagno asked me to write a piece for this year’s MITO Festival, I was honoured. In the early sixties I lived in Italy for a year, and ever since then I have felt a strong bond with that country.

In La Girò, a piece for violin and ensemble, I am musing about a composer I admire a lot: maestro Antonio Vivaldi. The title refers to Anna Girò, Vivaldi’s favourite singer who, together with her sister, lived in his house for some time.

The piece would not have become the 'performance' it is without the violinist Monica Germino. The soloist (La Girò, perhaps?) does not only play the violin. She also sings an Italian song, whispers and talks, tells stories and dreams.

The ensemble consists of a small chamber orchestra, with an added piano, harp, cymbalom and some percussion.

The piece has four parts. The first three form a kind of concertino. The actual musical drama takes place in the fourth, slow part.

Louis Andriessen.