Haydn's three surviving violin concertos (a fourth is lost but might still resurface) were probably composed between 1765 and 1770. The music from this portion of Haydn's career has lately been subjected to a major re-evalution that's all to the good, rescuing many works from the limbo of halfhearted performances. It's especially helpful in the case of these concertos, which were composed for Haydn's lead virtuoso at Esterháza, Luigi Tomasini (one of the manuscripts even bears the note "fatto per il Luigi," "done for Luigi").
John Corigliano's violin concerto 'The Red Violin' originated as the score to a film about a violin by one of the Old Italian master-builders, and its journeys around the world throughout three centuries. While working on the film score, Corigliano also produced a one-movement concert version of it, which he later expanded into a full-scale concerto in four movements. The son of a violinist, Corigliano’s aim was to write a concerto in a style his father would have wanted to play, and he has managed to do so without sacrificing any of the music's communicative qualities, or its wealth of colours, emotions and atmospheres. The work is coupled here with a concerto of a similar broad appeal, composed by Jaakko Kuusisto, who is a highly respected violinist in his own right, as well as conductor.