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QUEEN THAT

for wind quintet (Fl., Ob., Cl., Fg., Cor.)
duration: 6’30’’ approx.
year of composition: 1985-1986
I perf.: MI, Musica Nel Nostro Tempo, 15.2.1987 – Quintetto Arnold
Edizioni Suvini Zerboni, Milano
(the parts can be hired out)available a live recording

WORK REGISTERED AT SIAE (Italian Authors and Publishers Association)


With the writing of Halpith for solo flute, composed in 1984, a compositional phase began which deviated from the preceding one (characterised by an aura of soave dreaminess) in systematically projecting the compositional procedures onto an ideal screen of intervallic geometries, where axis of symmetry and numeric ratios governed the successive orderings. The presence of the number in music is, on the other hand, too well-known an historical condition to let it be worth the trouble, in this context, of recalling it to one's attention.

From 1984 onwards it became impossible for the author to write a single note unless it belonged to this universe of relations which preceded it and thanks to which that note was not anymore just a sound, or  a 'solo' sound. In this universe a note became a phoneme in a linguistic texture that might still allow for orientated and connotated proceding, in as much as this was constantly referrable to the generative compositional code.

With Anco, for orchestra, Elan, for ensemble, Pri-ter for string quartet, Sepalo, for piano (4 hands), Due improvvisi for piano (all pieces composed after 1984) the composer explored the possibilities implicit in the nature of intervals which, distinguished from one another as being either 'odd' or 'even', permitted two diverse elaborations. Odd intervals (non-divisible by two within the tempered chromatic scale) gave rise to a centre, equidistant from the extremes of the interval. Even intervals, with no centre, could instead b divided (also by two) or multiplied by whole numbers. From this summary manifold properties sprang, which composed themselves into an organic pattern of possibilities, amongst which the writing of Queen Thatalso found its place.

Queen That stands out first of all for the absence ecstatic formal segments, which characterised not only the pieces of the euphonic season but also some episodes of the other works already composed using the new geometricising code. The piece runs on incessantly, following rhythmic and melodic geometries without truce, outstretched towards thickenings and thinnings, which above all cut into the density of the instrumentation. The figurations, a kaleidoscope of panting proliferations, run through a course whose spurring only softens in coincidence with the conclusion, during which the geometry of the rhythms and the melodic figures shatters in a fading of the piece's impetus.