Memory & Oblivion: the piece was composed with the wish to create an enjoyable and appeasing work. I let myself be inspired principally by the flow of feelings which found their natural embodiment in this style, without hardness and display of virtuosity. By listening to Memory & Oblivion one can immerse himself into an assuaging atmosphere, whereby the deepest experiences resurface in one’s memory. The piece is offered in the duo version with the clarinet in B flat; at the beginning, it proposes an opaque and husky timbre, while later it sweetens its voice, becoming characteristically velvety and elegant.
Il Clarinetto magico / Cythère: the piece originates as the musical translation of Verlaine’s poem Cythère: the beguiling atmosphere of its first lines is rendered in sound through the warm timbre of the clarinet’s middle-low register; the text’s delicate lights are represented through the clothing of the multiphonics; the concluding section, which is subtly playful, through staccato sounds and uncommon pianistic leaps; its persistent sensuality through fluttertongue and by employing the farthest registers of the piano.
Mutazioni: Written in 2018, it is a work shaped by the continuous metamorphosis of the musical elements it contains. It is dedicated to the Sicilian clarinetist Domenico Calia; in order to delineate such transformations, it employs, among others, glissato techniques, slap, fluttertongue, and singing into the instrument.
Piano-Clarinet Improvisation: this piece originates from thematic ideas excerpted from Chopin’s repertoire; it is enriched by new sound materials, conferring a “sparkling”, and sometimes “funny” touch to the whole work.
Elegia n. 1: This work is based on two themes: the first is in the minor mode and has a melancholic-expressive character; the second, in the major mode, has a cantabile-expressive character. Together, they aim at describing two aspects of my wonderful homeland, Sicily. In the first part, the protagonist is melancholy – a velvety melancholy, which caresses and touches lightly some almost imperceptible points of the soul –, while, in the second part, one finds the serenity, the joy and the light of a magnificent land.
Sonata: The Moderato puts into relief some rhythmical aspects such as the syncopation; the frequent changes of tempo (hemiolas), together with the accents, give to the piece a brilliant and playful character. The last part is marked by free cadenzas, with dynamic features which presently give to the piece a calm and placid character; its flowing features contribute to an ever-increasing dynamic crescendo. The piece is concluded by the initial vibrato, almost always in diminuendo, giving it a mysterious aspect.
Trittico: The first movement is a Gregorian plainchant, putting into relief the instrument’s low register through frequent rhythmic changes. The second movement is initially characterized by a complex articulation of sounds with a particular technical difficulty, culminating in a cadenza. Later it assumes a playful character, highlighted by repeated rhythmical structures up to some accented quadruplets reminiscent of the style of jazz. The third movement has a theme with a nearly always constant rhythmical structure; the accents are reiterated at the intervals of third and fourth, concluding with repeated notes in a dissonant style.
Sonatina: The Moderato has a lively and brilliant personality, and is characterized by leaps of seventh and ninth and by trills ended in cadenzas. In the piece’s central section, a rhythmic sequence is repeated identically, with the use of the “flatt.”, a particular clarinet technique (fluttertongue), while several melodic fragments are reiterated with frequent rests. The piece finishes with a unison note on the cadenza/cadence.
Sonatina in G minor: The piece is articulated into three movements. The first movement, Allegro, has a pressing and lively rhythm, highlighted in the clarinet’s part by quick gestures in semiquavers, both ascending and descending. The second movement, Cantabile, has an expressive character: the musical theme is put into relief alternately by the clarinet and the piano. The third movement comes back to the initial theme of the first, concluding with dynamic variants.
MED: It is an intensely suggestive piece. Two slow brooks arrive to a lake, where the creatures live according to Nature’s laws. A flower in blossom celebrates the first of such laws, i.e. that of the minimal effort. A young girl dances without Salome’s wickedness. After a rest, the brooks are reddened by blood, the flower withers, the girl is killed or sacrifices herself for her fatherland… The water’s freedom pours forth from the fibers of the “wood-”winds, which are wise and gentle instruments, impregnated in memory. The theme reappears, unentangled, but for the faun’s dreams: Nature is more alive than ever. (Daniele Moretto)
Brand: This piece’s freedom, as concerns both composition and performance, highlights the extreme possibilities of a virtuoso clarinet. Thus, its title, BRAND, puts into relief the perceptive, captivating and emotive aspect driving the entire piece; this is characterized by wide arpeggios, reaching the extreme registers of the instrument; these arpeggios come to a halt on repeated notes, then proceed uncertainly on the staccatos and emerge in an unforeseen and unexpected gesture, affirming their identity as a continuing game of sounds.
Omaggio a Pippo Barzizza is a work aiming at evoking and referring to the musical Italy of the Forties, a moment when swing and jazz were mostly played. Normally, when one speaks of these two genres, the thought goes to the great overseas masters, such as Duke Ellington or Louis Armstrong, neglecting to give a look inside one’s home. With this small, but simple and hearty piece, I wished to pay a living tribute to the memory of a very important figure in the Italian history of music, i.e. Pippo Barzizza. He was the conductor of the EIAR orchestra, a refined composer and arranger, a pioneer who brought jazz and the concept of arrangement into the Bel Paese. This piece is an opportunity to look at that person and at that moment with a grain of healthy nostalgia, telling the whole country: “We have a beautiful history of music of our own; let’s bring it to the fore!”.
PRISMA (Prism) Like through a prism, when the purity of glass and lines meets the light and makes colors shine, in the same way the clear voice of the clarinet sweetly flows through the thousand shades of the guitar creating a rich and elegant polyphonic dialogue.
COSMICOINCANTO (Cosmic enchantment) Looking at the sky and wandering through the stars, where the poets’ dreams shine… that is how “Cosmicoincanto” was born! The melodic line of the clarinet floats dreamy and free through the sound space woven by the arpeggios of the guitar and creates an orderly harmonic ensemble.
Pensieri: This piece, dated March 1992, is dedicated to my dearest teacher of solfege, Italia Natale, who was the first to guess my compositional gifts and to encourage me to study composition. The work can be divided into three distinct moments. The initial theme, based on five notes employed in continuously varying rhythmic figures, is the musical transposition of the human mind’s strain due to the constant “thoughts” dominating our life. A second theme, with a syncopated, almost rocking pace, seems to open a glimmer of hope, as if a forthcoming joy would finally find its realization. Suddenly, the reprise of the first theme brings us back to anxiety and fear. However, since there are not only… thoughts, the human being’s capability to dream makes the rainbow shine, as if anticipating a better time. With this hope, the piece concludes, by developing a third, concluding theme, articulated in a dialogue between the instruments, closing in a whisper on the last chord, in the major mode.
Building: The piece was freely inspired by the Allegory of Good and Bad Government in Sienna. It begins with distinct sounds, each presented by an instrument; these are symbolic elements alluding to the citizens’ individual personality. After a phase of conflict, it realizes a virtuoso synthesis in which each of the five instruments presents a melody obtained by uniting the single initial notes with some elements of the section of conflict, which are however transfigured into a luminous finale. The clarinet always acts as a unifying factor, both on the melodic and on the rhythmic plane.
Domenico Calia (Clarinet): Domenico Calia is a polyhedral performer with a great repertoire ranging from classical music to modern and contemporary one, expert of the most innovative instrumental techniques. He was born in 1985 and as a child he studied clarinet. Under the guide of M° Vittorio Luna, he graduated at the Conservatory V. Bellini of Caltanissetta. When he was eighteen years old, he face the professional world by performing the Mozart’s Gran Partita with the Istituzione Sinfonica Abruzzese so gaining many prizes at the 3° Concorso Nazionale Città di Balestrate, 7° Concorso Nazionale Giovani Musicisti Città di Caccamo, 1° Rassegna Nazionale di Musica Città di Balestrate, 2° Concorso Nazionale di Musica (Premio Mauro Patti) Città di Gangi, 1° Premio al Concorso Musicale Internazionale Carlo Agresti – Grancia Certosina di Salerno. He specialized with Giuseppe Garbarino, Vincenzo Paci, Angel Jean Cino, Massimo Scorretti, Italo Capicchioni, Cristian Chiodi Latini, Antonino Lampasona and Crescenzo Langella. He took part, as firt clarinet, to the International Seminar of Orchestral Formation of the Estate Musicale Frentana, from 2002 to 2005. He has been invited in many conservatories and festivals as jury commissioner, soloist and teacher, giving many masterclasses of high specialization. He has performed together with artists such as Marco Pierobon, Milva, Andrea Noferini, Nina Beilina, Ettore Pellegrini and with conductors like Donato Renzetti, Vlad, Massimiliano Caldi, Daniel Agiman, Rafail Pylarinos, Angelo Sormani, and many others. He has collaborated with Istituzione Sinfonica Abruzzese, Teatro Massimo (Palermo), Orchestra Alessandro Manzoni (Milan), Multipromo Opera Festival (Florence). He has done many recordings among which his appreciated debut album “Works for Contemporary Clarinet” (Da Vinci Classics, 2017), where he shows his virtuosity and interpretative ability and that has received the total approval of the critics and the 5 stars by the magazine Musica (Roberto Zecchini) and by Musicvoice.it (Andrea Bedetti). His “Flowers of Contemporary Clarinet” (Da Vinci Classics, 2018) has highlighted some gems by some Italian living composers. He is the artistic director of Da Vinci Association and of Clarinettando Italia Festival.
Adriana Marconi, guitarist and composer, was born in Pescara in 1978. She graduated with distinction in guitar at the Conservatory “G. B. Pergolesi” of Fermo (Italy). She won the First Prize in several national and international guitar competitions and went on advanced courses held by Letizia Guerra, Betho Davezac and Massimo Scattolin at the prestigious Summerakademie Mozarteum in Salzburg. She attended post-graduate studies with Luc Vander Borght, Johan Fostier and Pia Grees at the Conservatoire Royal de Musique of Liège, where she got the Premier Prix Diploma. In the meantime she widened her theoretical musical knowledge, studying analysis and harmony with the composers Benoît Mernier, Jean-Marie Rens and Marcel Cominotto. She holds concerts in Italy and abroad both as a soloist and in various chamber ensembles. Together with the violinist Luca Fiordaliso she founded the “Concento duo”, with a repertoire ranging from classical works, transcriptions, arrangements and her own compositions. Besides her performing and teaching activities, she mainly works as a composer: she has written more than seventy pieces both for guitar and for guitar and violin. Supported by very favourable critics, she published books and CDs for guitar, such as Dodici studi semplici (Twelve simple studies), Nove studi sugli intervalli (Nine studies on the intervals), Quattro studi da concerto (Four concert studies) and Cinque studi lirici (Five lyrical studies). David Russell, whom she dedicated her Cinque studi lirici to, wrote about her music: “Thank you for your beautiful poetic melodies”. Her eclectic personality brings her to move through the arts: drawing, poetry and the practice of various musical instruments, especially on viola. She plays the guitar made by Juan Hernández and a guitar made expressly for her by Daniel Bernaert.
Angela Floccari: Born in Crotone in 1980, she has her piano approach at the age of 5 through the teachings of her grandmother and aunt, who graduated in piano and lyric singing. She graduated in 2001 under the guidance of Maestro Vincenzo Balzani at the Conservatorio 'G. Verdi' in Milan, where she began his studies in composition in the class of Maestro Giuseppe Colardo. She studied with Marcella Crudeli at the ‘Ecole normale de musique’ in Paris, Paolo Subrizi (Ass. F. Chopin '), Aldo Ciccolini (ProgettoPiano), Danilo Costantini (Harpsichord), Silvia Limongelli, Paolo Bordoni, Giacomo Battarino, Davide Cabassi, Stefano Fiuzzi (fortepiano at the Piano Academy 'Incontri col maestro' di Imola), Ada Mauri and Denis Zanchetta (Accademia di perfezionamento Teatro alla Scala), Wolfgang Sauseng (composition: department of sacred music of the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna). In 2005 she graduated with ‘magna cum laude’ in Modern Literature with musical address at the University of Milan, with a thesis on the scene music of Victor De Sabata for the 'Merchant of Venice' by W. Shakespeare. After making her contribution to the rediscovery of this important work in the area of De Sabata, she has a musical collaboration with Maestro Aldo Ceccato, who has recorded this work as a premiere with Malaga Philharmanic Chorus and Orchestra. On the occasion of the 2nd international clarinet competition 'Saverio Mercadante' (president Karl Leister) she composed the music for the chamber music award and transcribed for clarinet and piano pieces by Victor De Sabata. In 2011, she obtained a degree as 'Maestro accompanist and piano collaborator' in the class of Maestro Umberto Finazzi, former pianist of the Teatro alla Scala. Her concert activity sees her engaged both as a soloist and in chamber ensembles with a repertoire ranging from '700 to' 900. She composed stage music for two plays: 'Conciliare stanca', a monologue on the theme of femicide, interpreted by Caterina Vertova and 'Autobriography of an ordinary woman', another monologue on the theme of unemployment and female discomfort, interpreted by Francesca Tasini. She was also an official accompanist pianist in the courses taught by Maestro Christian Bellisario, cellist, at the Conservatory of Lugano in 2014 and also at chamber music courses at the Accademia 'Incontri col maestro' in Imola in 2015. Alongside the concert and musical activity, she carries on the teaching, teaching piano in various civic schools of music. She recently took part in the first edition of masterclasses of the da Vinci association in Milan, with a course of piano technique and musical interpretation. Among all the works, she composed music for flute, violin, harp, cello and female voice (Mousai tou Elikonos) with ancient greek text, chosen for the composer's archive from 1952 to today by Sentieri Selvaggi, for piano (Nebbie, Subaqua), for soprano and piano with german text, for trio with cello clarinet and piano (Tetraktys), for string orchestra (Sole di notte), for solo clarinet (Lyrydes) and clarinet and piano (Cantus sphaerarum). These last two pieces have been recorded in the CD ‘Flowers of contemporary clarinet’, published by the Da Vinci label.
Giuseppe Testa nato a Cefalù il 1967, ha conseguito i diplomi di Clarinetto, Direzione e musica corale, Strumentazione per banda e Composizione. Alterna l’attività di clarinettista a quella di compositore e direttore. Attualmente è direttore della Banda musicale S Cecilia di Cefalù (PA) e della Storica Banda musicale F. Bajardi di Isnello (PA). E’ responsabile della consulta artistica dell’Anbima Sicilia per conto della quale tiene corsi di formazione e conferenze su svariati temi musicali. E’ inoltre Coordinatore dell’area sud della consulta artistica nazionale dell’Anbima. Ha vinto svariati concorsi e ha collaborato con la rivista “Risveglio Musicale” e Mondobande.it. Ha composto, diretto e collaborato con musicisti di fama nazionale e internazionale. Ha pubblicazioni con diverse case editrici e ha inciso numerosi cd alcuni dei quali monografici contenenti proprie composizioni. Ricerca e conoscenza muovono la sua musica, lo spingono ad affrontare linguaggi diversi personalizzandoli, con l’obiettivo, comunque, di comunicare emozioni. Le sue composizioni, anche le più semplici appaiono nuove, diverse, personali, con una coinvolgente idea costruttiva di ricerca. A tal proposito afferma “… Bisogna far rivivere il passato con un occhio nuovo e il futuro passando dal presente del proprio io interiore, ogni artista contribuisce al mutare del gusto, al modo di pensare e di vivere il proprio tempo”. Ha al suo attivo oltre 170 composizioni tra brani per orchestra, coro, symphonic band e varie formazioni cameristiche. Alcune sue composizioni sono state eseguite in Argentina ed altre in alcune trasmissioni televisive Rai e Fininvest ed alcune dalla Banda dell’Esercito. Tra le composizioni più apprezzate si ricordano: “S’ei piace, ei lice” per quartetto di fiati; “Piccoli episodi” per quintetto di fiati; “Pensieri” per clarinetto, violino e viola; “Timbaclasigotambu” per voce recitante, clarinetto e percussioni; “Impulsi” per clarinetto e percussioni; “Sogni lontani” per due clarinetti; “Al chiaror di una lanterna” musiche di scena scritte per un lavoro teatrale ispirato al romanzo “Notte tempo casa per casa” di V. Consolo; “Chakra” per quattro clarinetti; “Ex abrupto” fantasia per pianoforte, ispirata dalle stragi di Capaci e Via D’Amelio; “Filo d’amore…fili nello spazio” oratorio per voce recitante coro e orchestra su testo di Hans Kung; “Sax quartett” per quattro sassofoni; “ Paolo e Francesca” commento musicale al V Canto dell’Inferno di Dante, “noveCento” nove quadri per clarinetto, sax alto, fagotto, pianoforte e percussioni; “Tetra”, e “Sintesi” per clarinetto solo; “Sogno dal vivo” cinque quadri per voce recitante, voce e piccola orchestra, su testo di G. Forte, “Gesù è il Frutto” per soprano e orchestra; l’opera da camera “L’Albero della Libertà” su testo di Antonino Cicero; “Essenza”, “Frammenti”, “Il bene e il male”, “Introduzione, andante e scherzo”. “Rapsodia marinara”, “ Petite suite”, “Sicilia”, “Artemide”, “Giochi d’infanzia” e “Corso Ruggero” per symphonic band e “The Bass Quartet” e “Mes amis” per fagotto, clarinetto basso, sax baritono e tuba, “Momenti” per sax soprano e fagotto; “Di da la” per voce e chitarra; “Sortita barocca” per orchestra d’archi; i seguenti brani ispirati a quadri del pittore Giuseppe Forte: “Poster” per pianoforte; “Visioni” per clarinetto, sax a. sax t. e sax b; “Ave Maria per soprano e pianoforte; “Fantasia” per euphonium e pianoforte; “Prisma” per clarinetto, violoncello e pianoforte.