The jury of the 33rd edition of the Franco Abbiati Music Critics Prize has awarded its prize for a work of absolute originality to Mauro Lanza’s Ludus de Morte Regis for choir and electronics. The jury praised the work, explaining the motivation behind the award, saying that: In this trilogy, dedicated to the funerals of the three anarchists who made attempts against the life of Umberto I, the composer deals with the theme of political protest in a sonorous and theatrical dimension that has a powerful impact on listeners. In it there coexist violence and carnival-like festivity, grotesque and dramatic atmospheres, and a solemn and entrancing choral writing together with gestural and noisy components of an iconoclastic turn.
Commissioned by Les Cris de Paris, Ludus de Morte Regis was premiered in Paris in June 2013 at IRCAM’s Festival Mani-Feste and performed again four months later at the Venice Biennale. On both occasions the work was conducted by Geoffroy Jourdan.
Mauro Lanza will receive the prize on May 25 at the Teatro Donizetti in Bergamo.
French premiere for Tail Up by Giorgio Battistelli on May 15 (further performance on 16) in Nancy (Salle Poirel). The Orchestre symphonique et lyrique de Nancy will be conducted by Marco Angius.
The title Tail Up refers to the exhortation with which the mother of the great British writer Virginia Woolf used to encourage her daughter to overcome the little trials of everyday life. Battistelli tells us that “It’s an expression that immediately struck me when it was suggested to me by my writer friend Nadia Fusini, a excellent English-speaker and an authority on the writing of Virginia Woolf”.
The score is made up of four parts that – in keeping with the title - reciprocally spur each other on in a context of great dynamism; the various sections of the orchestra, reacting to the impulses of the harmony and the rhythm, confront each other with out-and-out whips of the tail - “a metaphor of how vital it is to know how to keep your tail up high and straight, to look at reality with the necessary degree of detachment”.
UK premiere for Summer Dreams. String quartet No. 2 by Philippe Boesmans on May 14 in Cardiff. The Quatuor Tana will perform the composition at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, Dora Stoutzker Hall, as part of the Vale of Glamorgan Festival.
Animi motus for string quartet and electronics by Azio Corghi will be presented for the first time in South Korea on May 13. The composition will be performed in Seoul by SIMF Ensemble, as part of the 2014 Seoul International Music Festival.
La Vita Immobile, 7 musical micro-automatons for string quartet, is the piece that Marco Stroppa has devoted to the Arditti quartet for the celebration of 40th birthday of their activity. The world premiere will take place on May 10, in Witten (at the Blote Vogel Schule), as part of the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik.
As the composer explains, the work is made up by 7 little musical “machines”, each based on a single type of sonoric material and formal process, like the 7 letters of the name Arditti: 4 consonants (3 percussive and an “r”), 3 vowels. 4 rapid and vigorous, 3 slower and more contemplative. The name of the quartet becomes the backbone – imperceptible yet indispensible – of the piece.
While composing the work, I received news of the untimely death of Gerard Mortier, an immense, passionate defender of the music of our time. Thus, the final micro-movement has been written “in memoriam”.
The title comes from a series of 23 short stories by Marco Mazzolini, imaginative writings animated by an inexorable formal construction and structured in a cyclical manner.
Italian premiere of Silvia Colasanti’s Di tumulti e d’ombre. Studio per Faust, string orchestra version, on May 5 in Bologna, Oratorio San Filippo Neri. The Zipangu Ensemble will be conducted by Fabio Sperandio.
On May 2, the violinist Leila Josefowics with the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI conducted by Susanna Mälkki, will perform the Italian premiere of Luca Francesconi’s Duende - The Dark Notes. The concert will take place at RAI Auditorium, in Turin.
“Historically – says Francesconi – duende is the demon of flamenco. As Federico Garcìa Lorca explains, it is a subterranean force of unheard-of power that escapes rational control. To recover a primitive force in the instrument that perhaps most embodies the history of the West it is necessary to make a perilous descent into the underworld of dark notes, or a flight beyond the orbit of the earth. Which amounts to the same thing. Extremely difficult. But without duende we remain bolted to the ground.”
Duende - The Dark Notes is a co-commission of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
“A composition for two violins, viola, and cello, four voices that overlap, assist each other, hold each other up, to arrive together at the expressive punctum represented by the crucifixion of Our Lord.” This is how Battistelli introduces Struggenze, a composition that will be premiered in the course of the WDR 3 Ostermusik 2014 concert series in Cologne. The piece will be interpreted by the Quartetto Prometeo in a concert on April 16, in the studios of the German broadcaster, which will be broadcast live. The composer continues his description speaking of “a music that despairs, weeps, that searches within itself for an empathetic development that might bring the music close to the agonising harmony of baroque composer Alessandro Stradella. Struggenze is one of my works where past and present are no longer aligned in sequence, a before and an after, but rather live together in an interpenetrated verticality in which the concept of time passing is eluded.”
Finnish premiere on April 12 in Helsinki for Fausto Romitelli’s An Index of Metals, video-opera for soprano, ensemble, multiprojection and electronics. The composition will be performed at the Malmisali by the NYKY Ensemble, conductor Christian Øland, as part of the Aave Festival.
Vaalbara for three pianos by Carlo Boccadoro will have its Italian premiere in Rome on April 12. The Piano Trio Tomassi, Griguoli and Stella will perform the composition at the Istituzione Universitaria dei Concerti.
|When|| Apr 11, 2014 09:00 PM
Apr 12, 2014 11:00 PM
|Where||Turin and Rome|
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On April 11 at the Lavanderia del Vapore in Turin the Balletto Teatro di Torino will perform the world premiere of Carlo Boccadoro’s Studio per Antigone. The composition forms the first part of the ballet Antigone originally conceived in three parts, each entrusted to a different composer. Up to now it has not been possible to perform the entire ballet, so the company has decided to stage this first part with recorded music (the performers are the ensemble Sentieri selvaggi conducted by Boccadoro himself). In conceiving Studio per Antigone, Boccadoro worked in close contact with the choreographer Matteo Levaggi; the scenic design and the costumes are by Davide Balliano. The composer explains that his music does not have descriptive intentions, and that the character of Antigone has been represented by a mere suggestion. The composition has a complex structure and is characterised by virtuosic instrumental writing.
On April 12, in Rome, the Piano Trio Tomassi-Griguoli-Stella will perform the Italian premiere of Boccadoro’s Vaalbara for three pianos at Istituzione Universitaria dei Concerti. The world premiere of the work took place last June in Lugano, as part of Marta Argerich project.
Apr 03, 2014
from 06:30 PM to 08:00 PM
|Where||Portland and San Francisco|
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After the recent Canadian premiere, Due liriche da Rilke for soprano and piano by Alberto Colla will have its American Premiere in Portland on April 3. The Duo Alterno will perform the composition at the State University of Portland, Lincoln Performer Hall, and on April 7 in San Francisco, at the Italian Cultural Institute.
On April 3 in London, the Guildhall New Music Ensemble conducted by James Weeks, will perform the UK premiere of Salvatore Sciarrino’s Due smarrimenti, for voice and ensemble. The concert will take place at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
In Vancouver on March 31, will take place the Canadian premiere of Due liriche da Rilke for soprano and piano by Alberto Colla. The Duo Alterno will perform the composition at VSO’s School of Music, Pyatt Hall, as part of the Italian Cultural Institut of Vancouver concerts.
Luci mie traditrici by Salvatore Sciarrino, will have its South Korean premiere in Tongyeong on March 28 (additional performance on March 29). It will be staged at the Black Box, Tongyeong Concert Hall, as part of the Tongyeong International Music Festival, with the Contemporary Music Project conducted by Ruediger Bohn, stage direction by Sangyeon Park.
“The festival Play It! is the fruit of a tenaciously pursued decision: to take a punt on Italian contemporary music right at the moment when art music is in an angle, a victim of drastic economic cutbacks”. These are the words that Giorgio Battistelli uses to present Play It!, the third edition of the concert series on the music of today realised by ORT, the Orchestra of Tuscany, of which the Roman composer is artistic director. In the course of four concerts that will take place between 26 and 29 March (and to be conducted in chronological order by Fabio Maestri, Carlo Lizzari, Tonino Battista and Francesco Lanzillotta) it will be possible to hear at the Teatro Verdi in Florence two world premieres that have been commissioned by Fondazione ORT: The Waters Flow On their Way for orchestra and female voice (the 2014 version for Western instruments) by Fabio Nieder (26 March, with the soprano Alda Caiello) and Harivamsa compendium for orchestra (2013-14) by Riccardo Nova (concert of 29 March). The series will also feature a number of Italian premieres: Trama for saxophone and orchestra (1987) by Luca Francesconi (26 March with Mario Marzi on saxophone), Próxima for female voice and ensemble (2011-12) by Daniele Ghisi on texts by Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer (27 March, again with Alda Caiello), Voce concerto for cello and orchestra (2012) by Matteo Franceschini (28 March, with Francesco Dillon as soloist) and Allegro con bocca for ensemble and electronics (2011) by Emanuele Casale (on 29 March). We note that this year the Play It! prize for lifetime achievement will be awarded to Azio Corghi, whose … Her Death! (ritratto di Sarah) on the poetic dramaturgy of Quirino Principe for actress-singer and orchestra (2005) with the voice of Lorna Windsor will bring the series to a close. The two concerts of 26 and 29 March will be broadcast live on RAI Radio3 in the course of the programme Radio3 Suite.
The Italian premiere of Daniele Ghisi’s Abroad for soprano, ensemble and electronics will be performed in Bologna, on 25 March as part of Musica Insieme concert season. The soprano Laura Catrani with Fontanamix Ensemble are conducted by Marco Angius.
Abroad is a collection of seven Lieder, on texts by Fernando Pessoa, chosen from the poems in English that the Portuguese poet wrote in his youth in South Africa. The work is divided into an acoustic component (made up of sonnets, in a perfect Shakespearean metre, with a “chamber music” character and substantially resistant to the presence of electronics) and an electroacoustic component (inscriptions, in free form, where for extended sequences the ensemble becomes secondary, or absent). The acoustic/electroacoustic counterpoint becomes an unconscious process of memory, a Proustian experience: the electronics is an elsewhere (from which comes the title, abroad), a non-place in which everything suddenly becomes possible.
Norway premiere in Bergen, on March 22, for Fausto Romitelli’s An Index of Metals, video-opera for soprano, ensemble, multiprojection and electronics. The composition will be performed in the frame of the Borealis Festival by the BIT20 Ensemble under the baton of Baldur Brönniman.
|When|| Mar 21, 2014 08:30 PM
Mar 28, 2014 10:00 PM
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The project Chant des Sphères has two composers converse with each other through the centuries: the world premiere of Daniele Ghisi’s Nostre for eight voices and electronics, conceived to be sung in alternation with sections of Guillaume de Machaut’s Messe de Notre Dame, will be performed by the ensemble Musica Nova under the direction of Lucien Kandel on 21 March at the Théâtre Villefranche-sur-Saône.
The project has been co-produced by the Fondation Royaumont, the Grame Biennale Musiques en Scène, the Cité de la Voix and Musica Nova. Ghisi’s composition is made up of four pieces on texts of profane rondeaux by Machaut himself that alternate with sections of the Messe, thus contrasting the amorous with the sacred. Between some sections certain brief sequences underline the almost constant presence of electronics, a kind of “additional choir” that collocates all the elements in an “elsewhere”. The concert will be repeated on 22 March in Lyon (Musiques en Scène), on 23 in Geneva (Festival Archipel, the Swiss premiere) and on 28 March at the Théâtre de Vienne (France).
On 12 March the world premiere of Francesca Verunelli’s Graduale, Disambiguation takes place at the
Konzertsaal in Lucerne. The orchestral piece, winner of the 2011 Art Mentor Foundation
Lucerne Award for Young Composers, will be performed by the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester
under the direction of Michael Sanderling. An additional performance is scheduled for the following day.
The composer departs from the concept of disambiguation, or in other words, the interpretative process that takes place in the face of an ambiguous utterance. The nucleus of the work is, as Verunelli puts it, “the exploration of the potentiality of the musical material to continually re-veal itself in a different manner every time that the context – gradually - changes”. So “the musical material remains the same – identifiable and recognisable – but at the same time it constantly re-invents itself as new narrative contexts and new syntactic ties call into play another of its potential ‘senses’”.