Colasanti: String Quartets

Album cover art for upc 5028421961187
Label: BRILLIANT CLASSICS
Catalog: BRI96118
Format: COMPACT DISC

Quartetto Noûs

Born in 1975, Silvia Colasanti has an extensive catalogue of works to her credit in all the major classical genres, but her style is principally characterized by its attention to drama, whether experienced on or off the lyric stage. In 2019 the premiere of her Proserpine opera was staged to open the prestigious Spoleto Festival. ‘The score is like elegant lace,’ reported Classical Music Daily, ‘with very skillful orchestration and well-balanced vocal writing. It is not an experimental score but a good piece of music where the main themes are intertwined and can be easily played by the orchestra as well as recognized by the listeners.’ These qualities may also be appreciated in Colasanti’s work for string quartet. The expressive markings for Due destini, starting Agitato and Immobile, reveal the work’s destination of travel towards two quite different places, creating an expressive tension which the string quartet is uniquely well placed to sustain. Aria does not imitate vocal writing but rather draws on the Italian meaning of the word, ‘airs’, with music that breathes and shudders and vanishes on the wind. Di tumulti e onde, dedicated to the Quartetto di Cremona, is subtitled Studio per Faust, and its predominance of darkness over light and tumult over calm is a characteristic feature of Colasanti’s language. Finally there is a trio of pieces that develops the themes of a piece she wrote for string quartet and percussion to accompany a text written by Patrizia Cavalli. The theme is that of a woman waking and dreaming, not unlike the lonely figure in Schoenberg’s Erwartung, and now transformed by Tre Notti into music of sudden fears and restless hopes.