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PRI-TER

for string quartet
degree of difficuty: high
duration: 6’ approx.
year of composition: 1993
Edizioni Suvini Zerboni, Milano
(the parts can be hired out)
WORK REGISTERED AT SIAE (Italian Authors and Publishers Association)


The title of this quartet alludes to the collocation that this composition has within the author's musical evolution. It is the first (in Italian, PRImo) of three quartets written using the new compositional code (not present in the preceding two entitled Labia and For Four) but the third (in Italian TERzo) in the chronology of the author's string quartets.

The new compositonal code was adopted from 1984 onwards. After a compositional season characterised by soave dreaminess (Soavodia, for clarinet and piano, Eco, for 'cello and piano,; Emosinio, for orchestra,; Mitofania, for ensemble,; etc) and after a series of piece which initiated a detachment and leave-taking from euphony (For Four, for string quartet,; Rapsodia, for two pianos,: etc), in 1984 , with the writing of Halpith, for flute solo, a new conception of compositional procedures began, which came to be imagined as projected on a simbolic screen based on the geometry of the 'centre'.

Such a conception, in its elementaty aspects, arises from the nature of intervals, be they melodic or harmonic, which can be differentiated amongst themselves as either odd or even.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 the page which precedes the beginning of PRI-TER the “Sistemi di riferimento di tutte le strutturazioni del pezzo” (“reference systems for the entire structuring of the piece”). On the same page appear “Prima Sequenza dei luoghi strutturali concentrici (“First Sequence of the concentric structural locations”)n and the “Seconda Sequenze” (Second Sequence).

All of the unusual notation in the quartet is that way in order to render the intimate system of the quartet more easily comprehensible.