for piano solo
work winner of the XVII Pianistic
Competition for Composers of Treviso,1970
degree of difficuty: high
duration: 10 ’ approx.
year of composition: 1967-1970
I perform: Treviso, Teatro Comunale, 17.11.1970
Edizioni Suvini Zerboni, Milano
available a live CD recording of the performance by
WORK REGISTERED AT SIAE (Italian Authors and Publishers Association)
D. Anzaghi e F. Donatoni
Segni was drawn up towards the end of the the 60s: quite late, with respect to the copious upheavals which, beginning in the 1950s, characterised 'new music'. The experimentation of unusual compositional modalities, whatever they might be called, was considered much more important than the concrete result. The latter was perceived as a kind of accessorial phenomenon, to which one should not dedicate one's attention. In such a context, acoustical evidence, whether of the basic figures or of the forms derived thereof, was often absent or even regarded with suspicion. Segni did not share such negative characteristics of one part of 'new music'. The concreteness of the acoustic evidence of the result characterise the piece in all its components. The formal intinerary is constituted by episodes, with well outlined physiognomy. An episode-theme, collocated in the centre of the piece, is varied as many times as there are variations-episodes which constitute, together with the theme-episode, the entire piece. If the idea of theme and variations is ancient, the compositional thinking used in the process of variation and development was not, following as it was new techniques whose communication would pass over the simple illustration of the piece. The physiognomy of the various episodes is recognisable. The connection between the theme-episode and the variations-episodes is not recognisable, at least at the first hearing. This connection clings on to internal structurings, thanks to which the fastness of the matter is given to form, even beyond easy recognisability.
In Segni, the form has directionality. The theme-episode is constituted by a flow of single notes (a kind of perpetual motion in the mid-to-lower register) which progressively evolves towards synchronies. These are initialy formed with two simultaneous notes. They then, gradually, become synchronies of three, four, five and more notes which break out into a terminal synchrony of the greatest possible thickness. At the end of the piece, the gradual impoverishment of the flow of single notes comes during a stage in which the separate notes come to be absent in favour of synchronies only.
On the occasion of the first performance in France of this piece, (Paris, 1975) the author wrote the following words: "The attention shown by the ISCM (International Society for Contemporary Music) to Segni renders consistent the illusion that composing is more than a stubborn attempt to contrast the drive of silence. Segni, infact, is my first piece written after my academic studies and, which is more important, after an abstention from composition that lasted many years. The composition of this piece is the first 'sign' (Italian: segno) of the emergence of a vital impetus. The piece does not make anything but a part of the global hypothesis up-to-date, whose virtuality foresaw other events, following the instant in which Silence interrupted the path of Segni."