for clarinet and string orchestra
degree of difficuty of the clarinet part: medium-high
degree of difficuty of the strings: high
duration: 12’ approx.
year of composition: 1991-1993
first performance: Milano, Conservatorio - Orchestra Cantelli, cl.: P. Beltramini
Edizioni Suvini Zerboni, Milano
(the parts can be hired out)
it is available the CD recording of a computer performance
WORK REGISTERED AT SIAE (Italian Authors and Publishers Association)
The Concerto Breve belongs to a series of works for solo instruments and orchestra which numbers three Concerti for piano and orchestra (Fluegolkonzert, Fluegelsymphonie, Concerto dell'ali) a concerto for violin and orchestra as well as this Concerto Breve for clarinet and strings. The public's warm reception of the first performance of the Fluegelkonzert (Milan, RAI, 30/3/1989 – piano B. Canino, dir. G. Nowak) convinced the author that the form of the concerto for soloist and orchestra promotes and comprehension and the consensus of listeners.
The Concerto breve uses compositional strategies of great plasticity. The forma ones were forged from a meditated re-evaluation of listening itself.
The piece extends over three episodes. The first, in which the clarinet is absent, has the function of a protracted introduction In it a long crescendo in the strings, which coincides with a progressive and very gradual accelerando, prepares for the advent of the soloist. The latter, in this way, makes their appearance very late with respect to the beginning of the piece. The long string introduction promotes the expectation of the solo and knowingly combines the process of initial acceleration with a 'random' element: the synchrony of the pizzicato. This latter interrupts unforeseeably into the methodic flowing of the strings. This eruption renews one's attention for the process taking place thanks to a fleeting distraction from the process in question. The soloist's prolonged wait is calculated so as to seem neither to long nor too short. The optimisation of the extended introduction's duration is obtained through two complementary tactics. The first consists of a scheme thanks to which the end of every re-presentation of a group of notes (each group consisting of the same notes, but each successive statement of them begins from the note following the one used as the starting point for the previous statement) sees the following group accelerated with respect to the preceding one. The second tactic consists of a disordering of the first, whose schematic predictability is weakened by the interuption of the pizzicato mentioned above.
In the second episode the long awaited clarinet appears, which weaves a lively, opposing dialogue with the body of the strings. At the end of the second episode a dream-like cadenza by the soloist intruduces the third and concluding episode which draws its origin fom an acoustic metaphor of the registers of the organ.
The third episode presents considerable difficulties for the strings, and is founded on a sort of continuum of rapid figures, upon whose flow thickenings of sonority roughly cut in, imitating (as mentioned above) the sonorities of some registers of the organ.
A gradual extinction of the polyphony towards the bass (a knowing reminder in homage to the Lyric Suite by Berg) concludes the Concerto breve.