Ex Novo Ensemble
music by Ivan Vandor, Michele dall'Ongaro, Gérard Zinsstag, Daniele Lombardi, Lucia Ronchetti, Gaetano Giani Luporini, Franco Oppo, Daniele Tosi
"L. Ronchetti - Bianco temperie" (Demo .mp3 - 30 sec. - 270 Kb)
CD PAN 3053 -
price 15.00 Euro
Poèmes imaginaires - (1987)
for 7 players - 15'30"
Vita mia - (1988)
for soprano, violin, cello and piano - 6'51" -
Tempor - (1991-92)
for flute, Bb clarinet, violin ,
viola, cello and pianoforte - 16'40"
Orphèe - (1986)
for soprano and piano - 8'55"
Bianco temperie - (1992)
improvviso for viola, cello, percussions and piano - 4'58"
Gaetano Giani Luporini
Le azzurre trame di un La - (1991)
for 6 players - 6'50"
for contralto, oboe, violin , viola and cello - 7'50"
Comme il vous plaira - (1992-93)
for 5 players - 8'33"
IVAN VANDOR (1932)
for flute, oboe, clarinet, piano, percussions, violin and cello
Forget music? Indeed, transform amnesias into seeds of creativity. But never forgetting that without a structure and without a form it is more difficult to conceive an idea.
The pecularity of Vandor's poetics can be traced also in the voyage undertaken by these seven instruments: the awareness of the necessary order confronts itself with the contemporary taste for the unaccomplished, supported by a writing taking advantage of the seven instruments' physicism (many more than that, considering the remarkable number of percussions).
Arabesques, light as appoggiature in the flights offiatis' quadruplets, minutely finished as a French sound of lost time, and then the brutal surprise: the turns, noisier, or slower and more obsessive and stressed, of a rattle: when has the instrument, so poor and coarse, ever reached soloistic passages?
The brute sonorous reality breaks in just like a tormenting corporeity; a grave warning against the airy liberty of imagination. Then the sound becomes syntax again, reconquering heights more consistent withthe idea of a "high music". Its intensity splits into very slow glissandos, uniform and seductive like an image from which it is easy to take away one's look.
A stagnation of timbres, a dreamy static nature, an interior, motionless vision. From here we climb higher towards liquid and bewildering sonorities. The reading presents itself less dense, docile for the imagination: a "crescendo little by little", a swarming of metallic percussions, it pushes the sound to fortissimo, and then, still faster, towards a controlled disorder. The risk (orpossibility) of a delirium is contemplated: "Was will du dich, o meine Seele kranken", is written under the staff of obstinate percussions, as a composer's invocation to the instrument. Then the punctuations become slower, everything is swallowed again, and the instruments yield, one by one.
MICHELE DALL'ONGARO (1957)
for soprano, violin, cello and piano
text by Alberto Bevilacqua
I. Strada Romea (mosso)
II. Improvviso (andante ma non troppo)
III. Ventriloqua mente (flessibile, rubato)
The harsh colours cut by a light piercing the evening twilight; the astonished intimacy of a contemporary Arcadia, called chaste melopaea by a rarefied chant.
Finally the implosion of a very special ventriloquist, surely an intellectual, speaking with his own mind. The musical writing adapts itself well to the sense of the text, underlining its evocative character which proceeds, as often memory does, through folgorations and abandonements: restless as the rhythmic variations and the excursions of the voice (it is singing and speaking, cry and wonder). In the third lyric, when the attention turns to one's inner self, abandoning landscapes and figures, music excavates its course with as much tenacity: variations are made in microintervals, emphasis is made on single notes, the restless sign of sound's expansion is opened and reshut. A still wet watercol-ourpainting, when a wind's blow is enough to change the hue, to make it aquire new shades and intensities. Thickenings and rarefactions: the style as a shelter and salvation from "memory gaps" and the loss of
GERARD ZINSSTAG (1941)
for flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cello and piano
Temperature, temperament: warmth, colour. Or only anguish, in Time, which Latins have handed down to us with a neuter gender. Never neutral, however, and capable of assuming here three different features: "incarcere, suspendu, manipule".
Nothing is but as it appears. At the beginning the "flat" and obsessive pizzicato of the bows, a fixed horizon as the bars of a prison and an icy rebound to the tempting strokes of a piano, captivates us. Noises in solitude: echoes, rumblings, repetitions, scansions suffered by people deprived of liberty. (The broken dream of the prisoner, the sadism of the person deceiving him: listen to Dallapiccola, Montale).
But when does this dream occur? Is it the dawn or the nigth to set in on those impotent visions? Refined instrumental techniques: pitch divarications capable of producing bewildering conflicts; the sound is time and in time it becomes a perceptive structure: repetition transforms itself into concentration, the intervals' economy causes the swaying of a pendulum, which is enchanting.
"Resonance spectrale", as it is pointed out in the score; and in the conclusive episode - the manipulated time - the intention is to explicitly reach the illusion: "souffle sans emission du son". But in that very moment we hear the flute.
The boundary between listening and vision gets weaker, the persistence of sound is not in the instrument anymore but in the air and only later in the mind: the same was experimented by Luigi Nono with his sonoscoop in his Freiburg studio. How many pianos are possible, hearable? "Piano, piano, piano, piano, piano, fortissimo nel mio cuore", he wrote, thinking of Schubert.
Utopia of the infinite sound, genetic manipulation very much longed for by composers, their faustian delirium. It is not necessary to barter the soul with eternity, it will suffice "to increase gradually the bow's pressure, thus producing the emission of very far harmonics". The estrangement is guaranteed, provided that the performance is effective. The initial "flatpizzicato" becomes at the end a "harped and enfeebled pizzicato".
DANIELE LOMBARDI (1946)
for soprano and piano
text by Paul Valery"Orphee" is an invocation and an absence.
"Rapidos" and "calmatos" alternate on the keyboard as the cry and whisper in the poem. Valery's sonnet, vividly burning with very elegant symbols as a liberty filigree, is crossed by a luminous and transparent sound, but often - and here lies the author's inventive character - the music, not indulging in the mith's memory, shakes it with spells of dramatic expressiveness.
The poem is like a wave, not like a levelled path: in the score the graphyc sound indicates the oscillations, the dangerous vertigoes of memory and of desire. The freedom granted to our hero is anger, if the ultramundane voyage fails.
The voice and the instrument explode in
like a cry and a roll oftimpanos - when the colour of sound is blue, at the farthest boundariers of reason: "vers I'azure delire". Then the abrupt change of rhythm and of intensity are used for a representative purpose; from singing to very slow speech, from the brightest sonorities to the tremors of a pianissimo.
Nails, pulps, fingers, palms, backs, forearms: passionate anatomy of a power, pursued and unravelled in its full splendour. Theatricality of the pauses, their use tocreate suggestions, to cause surprise and stimulate the ear. Retur to the source, to the wonder of the still possible sound. The need to requalify the acoustic offer was suggested in the introduction. Orphee should consent to that.
LUCIA RONCHETTI (1963)
Bianco temperie (1992)
improvviso for viola, cello, percussions and piano
Sharp outlines, gestures hard as stone; profiles cut with expressionist frenzy. White is the colour of pure sound, the warmth of the most burning flame. White is the matter before it gets cold, before aquiring a shape. Ancestral calls in the semiquavers of wooden percussions raising the curtain on Ron-chetti's work (work, object of brutally strong matter), created in the shop of an "artisan furieux". Rhythmic successions engraved in the body and gesture of a hypothetical dancer (why not imagine that?).
The sound of piano spreads "quickly and freely" running along the entire keyboard. But the caesuras, the pauses, the resumptions, are continuous, unpredictable: there is no rest in such condition. And it is worthy to mix the languages: to use the syncopations of the hottest jazz, together with the ponticello emission and the cluster techniques. We are on the rim of the crater that contained all the sounds: even music must have suffered the condemnation of the Tower of Babel. Such disquieting game could proceed ad libitum, but the author knows the sense of limit: concision leaves deep traces when it is not synonim with ephemeral. It takes pleasure in amusing us with a very theatrical taste, making us long for a choreography for her so materially oriented music.
GAETANO GIANI LUPORINI (1936)
Le azzurre trame di un La (1991)
for flute, clarinet, piano, percussions, violin and cello
Six performers hunting for a sound, for an elusive gaseous essence.
Freon or neon, ice or light? Both of them fluidify in the body of the incurable seductor. He is languid in the harmonics and the elegant fin de siecle timbres, but he is also a rebel who takes us upwards and then abruptly interrupts the ascent, indulging in rapid fragmentary repetitions.
The sky must be forbidden to us, reminds us this sadistic nephew of Ariel's. He comes down gently again and the colour becomes more dense, within our reach, captivating again, "slow and sweet", available for our sight, less effervescent in its rhythm. The plots become long and retarded resonances: they have caught it finally. But three demisemiquavers beats, a chromatic scale quivering toward the blue note, and a glissando pursueing the same goal, are all it takes to make him reach out again for the colour that suits him best, a symbol of volatility in the late industrial imaginary.
FRANCO OPPO (1935)
for contralto, oboe, violin, viola and cello
text by Eugenia Montale
The voice comes out of the silence, syllabizing almost aphasically, to say that it cannot "breathe". Really? If he really believed in it, Oppo would have not chosen Montale's text, which is a masterpiece of fierce irony. So, between the very affectionate beginning of the lyric (Keats to Fanny...) and the reversal into a different "personal case", the bows undertake derisively to doubt the argument. In our "specific case" the framework decisevely does not "stand", risking to drag the voice and the instruments down an abyssal slope.
The bows get progressively out of tune, growing in intensity to reach a final ff, and wear away the static nature of the long notes, whereas the contralto addresses itself "tranquilly (half voice)" to the deaf interlocutor: yes, "silence" is really the primitive terror, the point of no return to be avoided. The poet knows that as well as the composer who skims over it and challenges it, and then parts from it abruptly, capriciously and sometimes furiously. The iterations on the imperative "to remember" are also derisive, anticipating faintings and vinegars useful to come to. The air becomes glassy, it is cold: the voice crystallized, it freezes, the instruments dampen the intensity and freeze in the wearying daily "trifles".
Is this the drama? But soon they cheer up, they wander freely about, taking advantage of the opportunities offered by chance: every union, even that of notes, is a hazard. Then toward the epilogue, the schematic writing takes the upper hand. "As long as it's not silence": the violoncello's long migratory corona on the semitone interval also questions the unsui-tability of the long-standing dialogue. The door closes again on that interior, a domestic inferno. Silence, please.
DANIEL TOSI (1953)
Comme il vous plaira (1992-93)
(Suite de la Musique de Scene pour la piece de William Shakespeare, Version n.2)
for flute, bass clarinet, violin, cello, piano and percussions
You will surely enjoy listening to him. That is not a question by the anguished author, but a statement and an invitation: the work was conceived as stage music for the performance of a Shakespearian comedy. Some will claim it is post-modern, as here it is more a question of true appearance than of an always elusive truth.
Just like Tosi's sounds and timbres: we are obviously in the still of a night, among shadows, darkness, brighter angles of a landscape. Between fears and pleasures. The sound proceeds with long, slow glissades and insistent arpeggios, and then pauses, bewitching us. Sharp and abrupt change of scene: it is the time of irony, of the genuine sound. A routine accident, an unforeseen encounter? The scherzo resumes its composure in the rigorous form of the instruments' brief five voices poliphonies. Amazing performances, also accompanied by the invitation to play and sing together. Let us proceed in our quest while the curtain now rises abruptly on a more lively scenario, crossed by faster figures.
The ending is on the contrary more "comfortable", the last light disappearing slowly and making us enjoy the boundaries between dim light I dusk/darkness. This is real theatre, the reign of artifice and surprise. It will be opportune not to forget that the visual dimension is suggested here only by music.
EX NOVO ENSEMBLE
flute and G flute
clarinet , bass clarinet
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