Donaueschingen 2018: WPs of Stroppa and Filidei
World premieres for Marco Stroppa and Francesco Filidei at Donaueschinger Musiktage, October 18-21.
Come Play with Me, for electronics and orchestra, performed by the SWR Symphonieorchester, conducted by Pascal Rophé.
The Klangforum Wien, conducted by Ilan Volkov, performed Ballata N. 7
The composers had the following comments regarding the pieces.
Come Play with Me
In the presentation, Stroppa explains that the piece, a passionate declaration of love for a European utopia, was born after he read Le loup dans la bergerie
, by Eva Joly and Guillemette Faure.
Come Play with Me
features a host of diverse situations in connection with a dramaturgical interpretation that associates intimate, lyrical moments with moments of tension and terror.
As in all my concert pieces, the composer writes, the title is based on a poem by William Butler Yeats (‘To a Squirrel at Kyle-na-no’), in which the poet expresses surprise over the reaction of a squirrel fleeing up a tree despite his peaceful intentions. Indeed, the squirrel fears for his life […]
W.B. Yeats (1865–1939)
The Wild Swans at Coole (1919)
To a Squirrel at Kyle-na-no
Come play with me;
Why should you run
Through the shaking tree
As though I’d a gun
To strike you dead?
When all I would do
Is to scratch your head
And let you go.
Each movement corresponds to a piece of the poem. 1. Come - 2. Play - 3. with Me - 4. Run - 5. Gun - 6. Strike - 7. Scratch - 8. Go (electronic cadence) […]
Unlike in my other concerts, the soloist isn’t an actual musician. It’s all electronics. […]
This is the first time in the history of music that electronics has played such a key role in orchestral music. The soloist materialized in an ‘acoustic totem’, the fifth generation in a family of recording devices I’ve been working on at IRCAM for the past 15 years.
A column of seven speakers pointed in different directions stands beside the conductor, for optimum sound diffusion.
Electronic sounds make no use whatsoever of real time! On the contrary, they enjoy complete musical and expressive autonomy. That’s the only way you can set up a dialogue with the orchestra. All the sounds were produced by two synthesizers developed by IRCAM – Modalys and OMChant. Modalys uses a technique based on ‘synthesis for physical models’. […] OMChant allows you to simulate vocal sounds. During the performance, the electronics soloist is polymorphic: strings, brass, tape deck, tuba, vocals.[…]
Over the years, I have repeatedly felt the need to change my musical language, namely from one consisting entirely of mere noises to one made of pure sounds. But a few elements have remained unchanged and point to clear, internally consistent path.
Looking through my list of works, the first thing one notices is the frequent use of titles that refer to musical forms of the past – toccatas, sonatas, ballades and preludes. In these cases it was always less a matter of filling an empty formal shell with unusual material than of contextualizing a musical object, offering the listener a possible frame of reference. […]
It is in the writing of music that I have found the best possibility to keep the memory of my own story – and of many other past stories - alive, for music is like a running thread that can colour time, that time in which the memory operates. The necessity of limiting this time in order to observe it better led to a focus on the closed arched form, as well as an economic use of a minimum of material, both of which guide the attention to the linear development of musical language.
My Ballate do not simply evoke a Romantic form; beyond that, they are also parts of my path on the way to a comprehensive construction process […]. Ballata N.7 continues this search […]
Photos: Ralf Brunner, Astrid Karger