Eortastiko, for chamber orchestra

 

Date of composing    April 2017

Duration    [3’31”]

Genre   piece in hymnic character for chamber orchestra (2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 Bb clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 Bb trumpets, percussion – triangle, tambourine, frame drum, bass drum, tubular bells, 2 mandolins / ouds, harp, violins I, violins II, violas,  violoncellos, contrabasses)

Style    contemporary, ethnic (Greek)

Level of difficulty intermediate to advanced

Copyright     © 2017 Natalia Pispini

Description

In D minor / G major. Maestoso sonore. The composition is dedicated to celebration of Easter in the Eastern Orthodox Church and it is based on the Greek Paschal troparion ‘Christos anesti’. The idea is to intertwine three layers of tradition such as church singing, folk festivity and individual reflection and enthusiasm within one composition

The melody of the troparion was notated by me out of one of the numerous performances of this hymn in Greek Church. Then I prepared it for usage in my work: all notes were made identical by their duration, and the borders between the words were marked with pauses (you can see the troparion here).

The prepared theme was assigned for playing by a group of instruments. It comes out in 3 different timing versions proportional to 1, 1/3 and 1/9, which sound simultaneously. The longest version, which is repeated only once (played by violoncellos and contrabasses, plus horns and occasional tubular bells), through the medium size version, which is repeated three times (played by violins II plus ornamented clarinets), to the shortest one, which is repeated 9 times (played by violins I plus oboes and flutes). The versions are unfolding in the progress like a fractal structure.

Another group of instruments plays music in respond to the main theme, but it has different musical structure. There are trumpets playing their own theme (consists of 3 long phrases set in bourdon-like texture); as well as harmonic support (violas and bassoons, mandolins and harp).

The third layer is made by the percussion group. They are distributed in specific way to highlight the borders within the whole musical structure.

Performance notes

The character of music comes from its genre of hymn, solemn, bright and praising. It is unified in tempo, rhythm and character, a massive sound cluster which is unfolding for 3 and a half minutes to express strong admiring feelings.

Due to its complex organization,  the score is provided by double numeration of the rehearsal marks: the parts engaged with the first theme have numeration 1, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3; while the general score has numeration A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J.

As for the parts, no specific or extended techniques required. Mandolins can be replaced by ouds if available.

Look at the score sample (pages ##1-5 out of 15 pages in total)

! This work may be commissioned or/and performed. If you want to play this piece, please contact Natalia. In your message, kindly provide some information  (brief introduction, collective’s title, website, contact details). The score, parts and all necessary material will be sent to you within a week.

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Our Best Wishes, for woodwind quartet and percussion

 

Title Our Best Wishes

Date of composing December 2017

Duration [2’34”]

Genre  piece for woodwind quartet (flute, oboe, Bb clarinet, bassoon) and percussion for 2 players (triangle, tambourine, cowbell, glockenspiel)

Style Neo-Renaissance

Level of difficulty intermediate to advanced

Copyright   © 2016 Natalia Pispini

 

Inspiration and musical structure

Allegretto giocoso. In G. The work is about winter celebrations, and there were three major sources that inspired me in composition.

One is my remembering of Russian snow, its sound when you walk over, its smell, and a very special mood which you experience in winter when the New Year day is coming soon.

The second source is my impression after the Greek carols kalanda. Nowadays, they are still performed in Greek villages. Young boys and girls, or very small kids wander around in neighborhood, knock the doors and sing kalanda where they express good wishes to the householders. The singers accompany themselves with metallic triangle trigono, or framed drum tumbeleki, or even bagpipe gaida. Many of those songs are coming from the Byzantine past, bearing the old musical style connected with natural and church modes, or with regular rhythmic patterns-formulas etc. Greek kalanda may have uneven rhythmic schemes which are common in Balkan music.

The third source is Renaissance Italian genres like frottola and madrigal.

The character of the piece is light, merry and joyful. I imagined kids playing light percussion instruments, singing their wishes with light and high voices. The rhythm is uneven 7+7/16.  The unevenness brings an elegance and some ethnic nuance, and  it refreshes the normal 6/8 basic scheme. The harmonic structure is simple and consists of the triads passing from one tonality to another.

The ternary form /:A:/BA2 has repeated interludia sectors.

Performance notes

Rhythmic accuracy, perfect synchronization in time and manner of playing (legato, staccato and tenuto) are important. It is possible that the parts of triangle, tambourine and cowbell can be played by one musician if these instruments are framed.

Look at the score sample

! This work may be commissioned or/and performed. If you want to play this piece, please contact Natalia. In your message, kindly provide some information  (brief introduction, ensemble title, website, contact details). The score, parts and all necessary material will be sent to you within a week.

 

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