Weaves and Tangles, for flute

Weaves_and_Tangles_common_title

 

Date of composing February 2018

Duration [3’53”], [2’44’’], [4’28’’]

Genre  character pieces for solo flute

Style contemporary, neo-romantic

Level of difficulty advanced

Copyright   © 2018 Natalia Pispini

1. In G. Allegro e Adagio. 2. In B flat. Allegretto spensierato. 3. In G. Moderato scherzando

Inspirations

The weaving lines of my artworks ‘Reused Wood Lace’ served as a primary source of inspiration for this music. The fragments of those artworks were also used to decorate the score covers and the media clips. I thought of weaving, bending and intertwining branches like motifs melodically wavy and rhythmically expressing kind of interrupted regularity. As for character, this music can be interpreted as abstract pictures (with scattered dots, curved lines and complex shapes). Or one could describe it in terms of changeable mood, capricious sensitivity, or elegance of weird dancing. Or maybe it is just ‘voices’ of the nature like birds, springs, winds, whisper of leaves, veiled and passed through the filter of individual musical ‘vision’ …

Musical structure

All pieces are stylistically similar and have the same composing principles of rhythmic changeability, metric instability, and gradual modification of scales.  The melodies are based on symmetrical or non-symmetrical scales, but the diatonic foundation and tonalities are recognizable. The variety of rhythmic patterns was applied (symmetrical, additive, divisive etc.). The musical structure is free form in piece No.1, and ternary form in pieces No.2 and 3.

Performance notes

Three pieces are independent and aimed to be performed separately, but it is possible to play them successively as a cycle. No extended technique is needed. Nevertheless, many rhythmical and textural challenges claim for the advanced level of difficulty.

! These works can be commissioned or / and performed. To get the score(s) for your performance please visit my contact page and apply providing all required information. The scores are free of charge.

Look at the score samples:

Weaves and Tangles 1

Weaves and Tangles 2

Weaves and Tangles 3

Watch the scores with computer-generated sound on YouTube :

 

 

 

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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.

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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Sunset Gleams of Ardas River, for alto flute

Sunset_Gleams_of_Ardas_River-title

Title Sunset Gleams of Ardas River

Date of composing May 2016

Duration [3’59”], [1’02’’]

Genre  suite in two movements

Style contemporary, neo-romantic, ethnic (Greek)

Level of difficulty advanced

Dedication ‘dedicated to dear Dimitri’

Copyright   © 2016 Natalia Pispini

 

Description

In B. Largo poetico / In C. Allegretto semplice.

This is a suite in two movements which are contrasting to each other in sense of structure (AA1 vs. ABCD), tempo (slow – fast), rhythm (irregular vs. regular rhythm), mode (tonal centre B vs. tonal centre C) and character (meditative vs. active and mercurial). It was inspired by the evening sun gleaming in a river, and I thought of expressing the gleams of two kinds: one can see them as calming, soothing (looking at the smooth parts of a river) or as livening, cheering up (looking at the swirls and currents). There are other ‘gleams’ reflected in this music, those are birds’ voices saying their goodbye to the sun (in 1st mvt.), and an echo from an imaginary distant Greek folk orchestra playing traditional Thracian round dance ‘Lianochortaroudia’(in 2nd mvt.).

The scales are enneatonic:

1st mvt. B-C#-D#-F-F#-G-A-A#

2nd mvt. C- Db-D-Eb-F-G-A-Bb-B

 

Performance notes

1st mvt. Tempo rubato means that the duration of all notes, pauses and fermatas are optional and can be slightly resized according the performer’s taste. The sign ⌐ marks the beginning of each phrase. The sign ’  means the short breathing break.

1st mvt. The tremolo fragments with ‘Lianochortaroudia’ (see mm.7-10 and similar) are in whispering, bisbigliando manner.

Look at the score samples   1st mvt.    2nd mvt.

! 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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”…Облака заволокли небо, и мы почти не заметили как это случилось. Солнце, еще не закатившись, слегка померкло. Вода в реке, обычно серая или зеленоватая, начала отливать свинцовой синевой. Река блестела и затихла. Мы наблюдали за прибывающими облаками и убывающим светом.  Неожиданно быстро подкрались сумерки. Издали доносились звуки народного оркестра, преломленные в вечернем воздухе. Река потемнела, зашумела. Облака почернели. Наступала ночь, но характер ее казался необычным: эта была ночь на исходе лета…” (Natalia’s writing inspired by this work)

 

 

Fire-Flowers, on E.P. Johnson’s poem for a cappella SATB chorus

 

Date of composing October 2017

Genre choral song for mixed SATB chorus a cappella

Language English

Style Neo-Romantic, contemporary, ethnic

Duration [2’16”]

Level of difficulty intermediate to advanced

Copyrights music: © 2016 Natalia Pispini; lyrics: Emily Pauline Johnson’s poems from public domain

 

Idea and musical structure

B minor. Lento. The song has slightly severe and bitter mood affected by the poetic meaning of the verses. The strophic AA1 form follows the two couplets of the poem. The harmonies are of the romantic style, enriched by additional dissonant tones and dynamic modulations to distant tonalities. There are some features of Mohawk (Native American) music as well: ‘trichord’ pitch sets, dotted rhythms and sung syllables. The ranges are: soprano – F4 – G5, alto – A3 – A4, tenor – D3 – E4, bass – G2 – A3.

 

Lyrics

For this choral song, I chose a remarkable poem ‘Fire-Flowers’ by Emily Pauline Johnson (1861-1913), Canadian and Mohawk poet, writer and performer.

EPJohnson1

Fire-Flowers

by Emily Pauline Johnson

And only where the forest fires have sped,
Scorching relentlessly the cool north lands,
A sweet wild flower lifts its purple head,
And, like some gentle spirit sorrow-fed,
It hides the scars with almost human hands.

And only to the heart that knows of grief,
Of desolating fire, of human pain,
There comes some purifying sweet belief,
Some fellow-feeling beautiful, if brief.
And life revives, and blossoms once again.

 

Performance notes

No extended technique required.

Look at the score sample

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


Image of E.P. Johnson credit: Cochran / Library and Archives Canada, Acc. / no. 1952-010 / C-085125


 

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Pagodas Sailing in Clouds, for woodwind quartet

 

Title Pagodas Sailing in Clouds

Date of composing September 2017

Duration [3’04”]

Genre piece for woodwind quartet (flute, oboe, Bb clarinet, bassoon)

Style contemporary, ethnic (Asian), neo-romantic, post-impressionistic

Copyright  © 2017 Natalia Pispini

 

Description

In F.  Adagio arioso. This is about something vague, obscure and ever-changing like clouds in mountains and objects behind them that appear and disappear. During the process of composition the images of distant beautiful pagodas came to my mind, which are hidden in mountain clouds in motion.

The piece is composed with use of contrapuntal technique of imitations and variation technique, and it is implementing different types of the pentatonic scale. It has the form A A1 AA3 where A2 and A3 can also be interpreted as a middle section and a recapitulation. There are 3 contrast themes: the ‘calls’ (in the beginnings of each phrase), the theme with contrapuntal ‘flowing’ texture (the ‘body’ of the phrases), and the staccato motifs (in the end of phrases). The ‘calls’ are played with delay which creates the sonoric effect of folk-like playing, a bit out of coordination.

 

Performance notes

No extended technique is required. Flexibility in reading modal scales and non-standard rhythm, good skills of playing within extended pitch ranges, and quick staccato technique (for flute, clarinet and bassoon) are necessary for the best performance of this composition.

Look at the score sample

Listen to the MIDI-generated excerpt on YouTube

! 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.

Explore my other works for chamber ensembles

Morning Leaves Palette, for flute quartet

Morning_Leaves_Palette_title_

In F.

  1. Adagio quasi sognando
  2. Allegretto fragile

 

Title Morning Leaves Palette

Date of composing August 2017

Genre suite in two movements (slow-fast)

Style contemporary, Neo-Romantic

Duration [5’18”], [2’05”]

Level of difficulty advanced

Copyright © 2017 Natalia Pispini

 

Idea and musical structure

Looking at the forest foliage in summer morning, I dreamed to set those images to music. I thought of different colors of green, their obscure transition and mixture, the sun light coming and illuminating new sites and corners before masked in shadow…

For this task, the quartet of 4 flutes in C, I thought, would be suitable.

The constructive principles of the piece came as the continuation of the idea of a morning leaves palette. It is the ‘mixing’ and ‘blurring’ motifs, and the shimmering of major / minor keys (as similar to lights and shades). The thirds and the sixths intervals in various combinations play important role in the whole construction. While working, I developed at least two different ways of how these principles can be applied, and, in order to display both ways, I composed two movements in slow-fast scheme. The second movement follows the first immediately (attacca).

  1. Adagio quasi sognando. Consisting of several blocks which are like different kind of images grasped by the sunrays. The blocks, although have different texture, follow certain tonal scheme. Instead of direct joining the blocks I used the technique of ‘blurring’ the borders, when the sound of the following block appears while the previous one still goes, and the sound of the previous block is echoing while the new one comes. Technically, you can create this ‘blurring’ in various ways. Here, for blurring sectors I used arithmetic and geometric rhythmic progressions. The same set of blocks is repeated twice, with slight ‘blurring’ variations, in order to prolong the impressions, to make them yet more static and expository.

 

  1. Allegretto fragile. The major / minor keys shimmering and the thirds / sixths intervals are intertwined with polyphonic form based on a 4-voice canon. So called ‘simple’ canon (imitations come at the unison), rhythmically plain, but has structural complications.

Performance notes

The flute players are better to be located spaciously on the stage in order to achieve the stereo effects in some episodes of the 1st mvt., and all along the 2nd mvt.

The 1st mvt. needs exact rhythmic reading. Before the longer notes the short breathing breaks are possible. Legato should be applied everywhere when appropriate.

The 2nd mvt. has moderate volume between mp and mf, and quiets down by the end.

 

Look at the score samples  1st mvt.    2nd mvt

Listen to MIDI-generated excerpt on YouTube

! This work may be commissioned or/and performed. If you want to play it, 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.

Explore my other works for chamber ensemble