Manzoni: Parole Da Beckett

Album cover art for upc 8011570372352
Catalog: STR37235

Ensemble Vocale Continuum; Vidolin, Alvise; Angius, Marco; Rado, Livia; Coro Polifonico Castelbarco di Avio; Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto

The first piece by Manzoni that that I have listened to was Quadruplum, for four trumpets and four trombones followed, again on vinyl, by the memorable Masse. Only much later I had the opportunity to conduct some of his orchestral works, always with voice, such as Kokin b and Allen. For its ninetieth birthday, the choice fell on two works by Anglo-Saxon authors: Dieci versi di Emily Dickinson and Parole da Beckett. The first work can be defined as a metaphor about the silence of the speech, on the vertigo of a poetic and inner world that the composer renders in extremely visionary terms. The musical horizon traced by the strings and the two harps is indeed at the same time dissociated and convergent: a string quartet and its double, a small string orchestra (ten like the verses of the poetess), are separated on the scene by a veiled diaphragm which also ideally delimits the mental and perceptive space of the composition …The Parole da Beckett score, composed by Manzoni in 1971, contains very detailed performance instructions for both the choruses and the instrumental groups; nevertheless, this study demonstrates how the aleatory sections and the presence of hidden, completely inaudible texts (shown only in the separate parts for the two choruses) leave considerable room for choice and alternative readings on the part of the performer. In fact, the apparently paradoxical tendency of the European avantgarde at the time, was on one hand to strive for an ideological liberation from the constraints of music notation, leaving the outcome of the work itself in the hands of the performer (co-author), while at the same time to provide the score with a series of such detailed instructions that it virtually became a system of ineluctable gestures and actions (thereby reducing the work simply to a series of its own performance directions).

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