Sunset Gleams of Ardas River, for alto flute

Sunset_Gleams_of_Ardas_River-title

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)

 

 

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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 at no charge, if it is for the premier performance in your country/state. (So far, the score has been sent to: Pennsylvania, USA)

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In Yellow Waves, for Bb trumpet, alto saxophone and drums

InYellowWaves_title

 

  1. Larghetto e dondolante
  2. Allegretto energico

 Genre contrapuntal pieces

Date of composing October 2014, November 2016 – revised (I); March 2017 (II)

Style contemporary, jazz

Duration [1’57”], [1’47”]

Level of difficulty intermediate to advanced

Copyright © 2014-2017 Natalia Pispini

Description

The idea of these pieces occurred after the trip through the Arabian desert. The highway crossed endless sand-dunes which took bizarre dark-yellow color due to the car’s UV-protected windows. The view of that sand ocean together with the huge sun disk hanging indifferently in the sky had left an unforgettable image. Thus ‘In Yellow Waves I’ was created. Later I composed the second piece, a ‘companion’ with similar conception of undulating melody but contrasting by tempo, rhythm and character.

In both compositions the contrapuntal polyphonic technique of canon (strict or free) was applied. The texture keeps canon fragments coming and disappearing, or it may change intervals. The drums (one player) perform rhythmic accompaniment. Bitonality (I) and bimodality (II) bring more chilly and dissonant sound. Another distinctive feature is the uneven meter 7/8 in the second piece.

The following instruments are used for the drums part:

I – acoustic bass drum, acoustic snare, hi-hat, 2 hanging toms and a floor tom, crash cymbal, ride cymbal, tambourine, triangle, cowbell.

II – acoustic bass drum, acoustic snare, hi-hat, 2 hanging toms and a floor tom, crash cymbal, ride cymbal, China cymbal, tambourine.

To learn the further details, to look at the score and the audio samples and to purchase the scores, please click on the links below.

In Yellow Waves I

In Yellow Waves II

 

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Two Salon Pieces, for string quartet

Two Salon Pieces

  1. Expectation. A major. Tempo di Valse
  2. Determination. A minor. Tempo di Mazurka

Genre pieces for string quartet (2 violins, viola, cello) in character of waltz and mazurka dances

Date of composing October 2014; March 2016 – revised

Style Neo-Romantic

Duration [2’00”], [1’57”]

Level of difficulty beginner to intermediate; intermediate to advanced

Copyright © 2014-2016 Natalia Pispini

Description

Here is my first attempt to compose miniatures for string quartet, with classical approach to musical form and texture, and touches of Neo-Romantic emotionalism on the level of harmony and tonalities. Both pieces display an airy and capricious character; both are connected with the dance meters / rhythmic patterns. Maybe, these things have eventually brought me to the title ‘Salon Pieces’. Both are composed in a simple ternary musical form ABA1. The texture is basically homophonic (melody or ‘thickened’ melody vs. harmonic support) and enriched by flashes of ‘spicy’ chromatic notes. The bowing technique is specified if necessary.

To learn the details please follow the links below

Expectation

Determination

 

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Songs of Spring, three choral songs on Walt Whitman’s poems

 

songs_of_spring_title

  1. The First Dandelion. C major. Adagio
  2. After the Dazzle of Day. B minor – B major. Lento
  3. Out of May’s Shows Selected. G major. Allegretto

Date of composing April 2014; May 2015 – revised; January 2016 – revised

Genre choral songs for mixed chorus SATB a cappella; the second song is for SATB and alto solo

Language English

Style Romantic

Duration [1’43”], [2’21”], [1’52”]

Level of difficulty advanced

Copyrights music: © 2014-2016 Natalia Pispini; lyrics: Walt Whitman’s poems from public domain (credit to http://www.gutenberg.org)

Ideas and inspirations

Composed in spring but in desert scorching environment, the work was inspired by my dreaming of a spring full of fresh colors, fragrant smells and awaking noises. Three short poems by Walt Whitman had been chosen from his great poetic cycle ‘Leaves of Grass’, because of their vivid and picturesque character. They were combined within a cycle with its own evolution of poetical mood. The unity of these songs I could describe as a course of spring with the parallels to some phases of human life. Thus, the music is displaying images from the early spring (1st song with its pale colors, fresh plants, shy emergence, innocence, calmness) through the moment of pause and self-reflection (2nd song) to the late spring (3rd song with its bold colors, grown plants, completed existence, maturity, motion). The alternating focus onto external and internal world creates additional lyrical dramatic contrast within the cycle.

Performance notes

When performed together, it is important to follow up the original tonalities and tempo marks. For the performance notes, score samples and audio samples of each of the songs please click on the references below. Although the songs are intended to be performed as a cycle, it is possible to sing them separately.

The First Dandelion

After the Dazzle of Day

Out of May’s Shows Selected

 

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