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ANCO

for chamber orchestra
degree of difficuty: medium-high
duration: 20’ approx.
year of composition: 1984
(work commissionated by “I Pomeriggi Musicali di Milano”)
first performance: Milano, Pomeriggi Musicali, 30.3.1985 – dir. P. Bellugi
Edizioni Suvini Zerboni, Milano
(the parts can be hired out)
(2.2.2.2. - 2.2.0.0. - Perc. [Tp., Gc., 5 Ps., Tt., Tamb., 2 Trg., Glock., Cp.] - A.)
WORK REGISTERED AT SIAE (Italian Authors and Publishers Association)


After an era of compositions characterised by co-existence and by a rigorous treatment of sounds and an aura of soave dream i ness, ( Soavodia, for clarinet and piano,; Eco , for 'cello and piano,; Ermosonio, for orchestra,; Mitofani,; for ensemble, etc.), and after a series of pieces which set in motion a detachment and leave-taking from that euphony ( For Four, for string quartet; Segni e Suoni ,; for piano, Rapsodia, for two pianos, etc), a different conception of compositional procedures emerged beginning with the writing of Halpith , for solo flute. These procedures are immagined projected into a symbolic context based on the idea of 'centre'.

Such   conception springs, in its elementary aspects, from the nature of intervals (be they harmonic or melodic), which can be differentiated amongst themselves as comprising an even or an odd number of notes of the chromatic scale. In the case of even intervals, they can be divided into two intervals of equal extension, without giving rise to an intermediate or central note. But in the case of intervals that are made up of an odd number of notes on the chromatic scale, such a division is not possible since the odd number of notes does not allow for their division into two equal parts (at least in the system of even-temperament): odd intervals consent however an intermediate pitch, equidistant from the extremes of the interval itself, 'mediating' it by its 'centre'. This 'centre', thanks to its 'privelidged' position, becomes the focul point for multiple operations of evident symbolic meaning. The framework thus described is extended to the durations of the notes (whose pulsations within a unit of time may be either odd or even) and is the font for the creation of the piece.

On these conspicuous traces the formal itinerary of Anco moves; the third piece thus conceived after Halpith for flute and Elan, for ensemble, commissioned by the Pomeriggi Musicali body of Milan. The broad form of the piece is three-part ( Prima Parte, Interludio, Seconda Parte) and thus reflects the pattern of individuals and durations, collocating the brief Interludio for oboe and bells in the 'centre', flanked by the Prima and Seconda Parti, which have only implicit symmetries between them, which are never enough to become formal sign-posts , in a neo-classical way. The Prima Parte traverses five episodes, each of which is given to a different group of wood-winds (plus percussion) which, at the end of the itinerary assigned to them, hand their roles over to the strings which respond to every episode of the wood-winds'. Indeed, the title of piece is drawn from the quintuple contraposition been the wood-winds' ANtecedents and the strings' COnsequents, which constitutes the skeleton of the Prima Parte   of Anco. In the course of this part the orchestra never plays all together: it is in fact systematically dismantled into wood-winds and percussion on the one hand and strings on the other.

At the end of the Prima Parte   an Interludio for oboe and bells leads us to the Parte Seconda , where the orchestra, for the first time, plays as a whole. The presence of the piccolo, hitherto unheard, given a dream-like role, adds to the new physio g nomy of the Parte Seconda. If the Parte Prima had a   prevalently moody character, the Parte Seconda, which re-elaborates some aspects of the former in an esoteric way, shows a vaguer and more dreaming quality: the co-existence of all the components of the orchestra does not exasperate the preceding contrasts, but, on the contrary, mounts them into a suspensful and astonishing picture.

Piero Bellugi