| A new Teresa Procaccini's CD, the ninth, has come to light in 2000, after the recording of her eight symphonic, sacred and chamber music CDs by the Edi-Pan company in 1998. It presents chamber compositions of various types starting from op. 1 of 1955 (when she was still attending the 8th year of Composition at "S. Cecilia" Conservatory in Rome) to op. 117 of 1988. |
We have preferred to open this CD with the TRE LIRICHE (THREE LYRICS) for soprano and piano op. 1, because these short pages present the embryonic forms of the composer's artistic developments.
They were also her first "professional" compositions to be broadcasted by the Rai (Italian State Broadcasting Company) in 1956 and this "event" was a mighty stimulus for the very young composer who started writing uninterruptedly. As far as her studies at the "S. Cecilia" Conservatory are concerned, finished in July 1958, we notice that as much as 18 works (symphonic, choral-symphonic and chamber works) were composed from 1955 to 1958 (not to mention several didactic works required by the school curriculum for graduation).
The influence of the impressionistic harmony in the lyrics is evident; not so much in the flow of the melodies, where her personal style can easily be discerned. The texts by Franca Masetti (inspired poet, one of her Maestros' daughter) are stressed by the atmosphere pervading the three pieces; lyrical, in Presentimento dell'estate (Summer Presage), dreaming, in II flauto (The Flute), melancholic and pessimistic, in Fredda ombra (Cold shade).
The second track is the SONATA for clarinet and piano op. 117 (1988) (a modified version of Sonata for bassoon and piano op. 32 (1968). In this work prevails a mysterious, at times dark character influenced by a certain manner to interpret the instrument especially in the two initial movements. The allegretto develops in a fluent dimension, while the andante doloroso, with its recurrent use of dotted notes, appears like a threnody, or rather a blues, as the composer suggests. The presto comes from a totally different atmosphere; here we find again the festive, objective and classically clean character already noticed in other Procaccini's works.
In the ELEGIA (ELEGY) for mezzo-soprano, flute and piano op. 47 (1970) she uses the voice as vocalise and builds the work on two themes: andante (which opens and ends the Elegia) where melancholic melodies with the voice used in plaintive "glissandos", give this piece a colour of great sadness. The following allegro opens with a subdued combination of semiquavers at the piano, almost a murmur, which becomes more dramatic and stronger as a flooding river passing from piano to flute and voice, whose strong technical effort here is particularly evident. The recurrence of the andante evokes the sad and expressive melodies of the beginning and ends with the last "glissandos" of the voice and the instrument PP which are softer and softer in an uncertain atmosphere.
On a category of its own the IMPROVVISO AND TOCCATA for organ op. 33 (1968) is radiant, optimistic and light-hearted mostly in the short Improvviso, followed by a vigorous, not easy Toccata that uses two mutual contrasting themes. The interweaving of these elements supported by the almost constant presence of triplets and quadruplets of semiquavers emphasizes the purpose of the composer, that is to compose a joyful piece, to whom the French organ school was not alien.
The next track is MEMORY for voice and piano op. 86 (1979). Here as well the voice is used as a vocalise which the composer clearly shows to prefer, as she includes the voice in her chamber ensembles. This work is permeated with a dark atmosphere in which the voice reaches at first deep dramatic pathos, evoking distant, sad memories. The piano as well stresses the meditative atmosphere of the starting pages with harmonies on the low register. A long solo voice leads us into the second part, where the melodic line taken from the initial theme allows the voice to express a strong emotional tension that calms down slowly to the sorrowful, rarefied conclusion.
This is followed by HOMENAJE (B.A.C.H.) for organ op. 111 (1985), written in the Bach anniversary, as a homage to Bach: the whole work, in fact, is constructed on the notes B flat - A - C - B, which have already inspired famous composers in the past. What makes this brief composition so interesting and involving is its continuously varied elaboration in melody and harmony, its growing intensity starting from a PP to a FF with several changes in time, register and rhythm. This is particularly true in the last part where the theme is slowly broadened until it disappears in a dissolvendo.
In CHANSON for voice, flute and guitar op. 70 (1975), the composer uses a delicate text by an anonymous French author, which is an important inspiration for this piece. Everything pivots on the voice and the flute, which develop into suffused and continuously alternating melodic lines, while the guitar offers harmonic support with some rare, suggestive melodic interventions. The value of Chanson is in its elegance and in the fluency with which the sounds are blended, its immediate power of communication, the indefinible vagueness of the execution, stressed by the use of the text sometimes recited or whispered. Certainly, this work holds a remarkable position in Teresa Procaccini's large production.
Structured on the three classical movements with a firm thematic plan, the TRIO for clarinet, cello and piano op. 36 (1968), in the first movement - allegro vivace, impetuoso - presents themes and atonal harmonies densely interwoven, which give brightness and overpowering impulses. The second movement - andantino - as a counterpoint, represents a moment of concentration and innermost meditation in a clear atmosphere, immediately dimmed by the third movement - presto - which is amusing and witty with its continuous rhythmical play; its great contrapuntual mastery alternating joyful melodies conjures up the optimistic atmosphere typical of Procaccini's compositions.
The QUINTET for horn and string quartet op. 50 (1971) is based on the superimposition of a melodic line of the horn added to the Quartet for strings op. 45 of 1969. These combining elements certainly arise the value of this composition which, is one of the most inspired in her chamber production. The first and third movements - allegro vivace and allegro giusto - which stand out thanks to their rhythmical liveliness and melodic linearity, are emphasized by the introduction of the horn, which dominates the dense harmonic mix, particularly in the third movement. The second movement - moderato - creates an intimate and expressive atmosphere full of beauty, to which the fascinating timbre of the horn greatly contributes: a relaxing oasis set between two furious allegros.
Teresa Procaccini is the composer of a vast production (about 200 works), including operas, ballets, symphonic pieces, chamber works, band and symphonic band works, teaching works, which have been performed both in Italy and abroad.
After having been awarded her diploma in piano and organ (with Fernando Germani) and in composition (with Virgilio Mortari), in 1971 and 1972 she directed the Foggia Conservatory and up to 2001 she hasa been teacher of Composition at the “Santa Cecilia” Conservatory in Rome.
She has won national and international competitions and has held specialisation courses in composition at the Festival of Città di Castello, at the Respighi Academy in Assisi, at the Internazionale Meisterkursen in Duren (Germany) and the Frentana Music Summer in Lanciano.
;Her works have been published by Sonzogno, Zanibon, Edipan, Carisch, Bongiovanni, Curci, Leduc, Seesaw, Rugginenti, Scomegna, Pizzicato Helvetia, Berbén, Wicky, Carrara.
She has produced a remarkable quantity of music for children (short teaching operas, musical fables with reciting voice, works for boys’ Choir and piano, many pieces for young instrumentalists (strings, winds and percussions) and teaching books with tapes) published by Armando and Gulliver.
She has composed sound tracks for theatrical works and for cartoons for RAI television.
Almost all her works has been recorded by Edipan, Bongiovanni, Edizioni Paoline, Electrecord of Bucarest, Rugginenti, Grammophon AB BIS of Stockholm, Nuova Era Records, Scomegna, Altarus and Crystal Records (U.S.A.), Lira Classica M.A.P.
She has also been successful in organising concerts and since 1972 is Artistic Director of the Foggia Association of “Friends of Music” and consultant of many Association in Italy.
She conceived the touring review of “Ladies Composer of Past and Present”.
She is often guest of Juries (as President or member) of various national and international prizes and as speaker of musicology Conferences.