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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Over Cool Waters Bridge, for chamber ensemble (flexible score)

Title Over Cool Waters Bridge

Date of composing  November 2016

Duration   [3’22”]

Genre piece for chamber ensemble with flexible score: flute, oboe (or Bb clarinet), bass clarinet (or bassoon), contrabassoon (or double bass), harp (or 4 guitars), celesta and harpsichord (or piano for 4 hands)

Style  romantic, ethnic (Asian)

Level of difficulty  from beginner to intermediate

Copyright   © 2017 Natalia Pispini

 

Description

A minor / A major. Allegretto grazioso.

This music is about meeting the past love, hope and dreams. Everything is gone, yet there are sweet memories. Keeping them through the cold waters of broken relationships is the key for the future recollecting the soul.

The use of contrapuntal imitations and pentatonic scales are the main composing technique of this piece. The form is strophic ABA1B1.  The texture is transparent, and the rhythm is limited up to several durations only (like in some Japanese or Chinese folk music styles).

 

Performance notes

Although the composer thinks the original scoring is the best to achieve the desirable sound effect and the fragile mood of this composition, it can be played by different instruments defined in the description above. The tempo should be kept the same from the beginning to the end. The manner of playing is expected to be slightly emotionally distant, subtle and elegant. It is suitable to play for musicians with various background experiences, as well as for amateurs.

 

Look at the score sample

Watch YouTube clip

! 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

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. (So far, the score has been sent to: Massachusetts, USA).


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 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 at no charge, if it is for the premier performance in your country/state.

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 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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После дождя / After the rain, choral song on Alexander Block’s poem

 

 

From : Two choral songs on Alexander Blok’s poems

Title После дождя / After the rain

Date of composing March 2016

Genre choral songs for mixed SATB chorus a cappella

Language Russian

Style Romantic, Neo-Romantic

Duration [2’00”]

Level of difficulty advanced

Dedication to Nina A. Zharkova

Copyrights music: © 2016 Natalia Pispini; lyrics: Alexander Block’s poems from public domain

Idea and musical structure

In A. Andante. Working on the melody in this song, I tried to express the images coming out of the verses: a rain’s rare drops, a stream’s murmuring, flowers’ opening, birds’ calling are heard in the melodic outline. The form is free and following the lyrics. The texture is almost transparent, and the harmonies are ‘sharp’. The vocal ranges: soprano – D4 – A5, alto – B3 – C-sharp5, tenor – C-sharp3 – E-sharp4, bass – A2 – G-sharp3.

Lyrics

Russain text

Сирени бледные дождем к земле прибиты…

Замолкла песня соловья;

Немолчно говор слышится сердитый

Разлитого ручья…

 

Природа ждет лучей обетованных:

Цветы поднимут влажный лик,

И вновь в моих садах благоуханных

Раздастся птичий крик…

 

English transliteration

Sireni blednye dozhdyom k zemle pribity…

Zamolkla pesnya solov’ya;

Nemolchno govor slyshitsya serdityy

Razlitovo ruch’ya…

 

Priroda zhdyot luchey obetovannykh:

Tsvety podnimut vlazhnyy lik,

I vnov’ v moikh sadakh blagoukhannykh

Razdastsya ptichiy krik…

 

English translation

Pale lilacs are nailed to the ground by rain,

The nightingale’s song has fallen silent;

Incessantly, a grumpy murmur is heard

Out of the flooded stream …

 

The nature is waiting for the promised rays:

The flowers will rise their moist faces,

And in my aromatic gardens, once again,

The bird calls will resound…

 

Performance notes.

1.The piece has a subtle, sophisticated character. It should be performed with light rubato. 2. The piece contains dissonant harmonies which need special care when singing a cappella. 3. The voice ranges are demanding: while the soprano and alto parts have extension at their higher range, the tenor part has the extended lower range. 4. The sustained notes require unnoticeable, non-simultaneous breathing.

 

Look at the score sample

Listen to and watch MIDI-realization on YouTube

! This work may be commissioned or/and performed. First 10 copies are distributed at no charge. If you want to perform this song, 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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Я стремлюсь к роскошной воле / I seek for the splendid vast, choral song on Alexander Block’s poem

 

From : Two choral songs on Alexander Blok’s poems

Title Я стремлюсь к роскошной воле / I seek for the splendid vast

Date of composing March 2016

Genre choral songs for mixed SATTB chorus a cappella

Language Russian

Style Romantic

Duration [2’09”]

Level of difficulty intermediate to advanced

Dedication to Nina A. Zharkova

Copyrights music: © 2016 Natalia Pispini; lyrics: Alexander Block’s poems from public domain

Idea and musical structure

D major. Largo. Notwithstanding the poem’s romanticism, I wanted to create music of calm and almost epic, objective character, oriented toward the early Russian choral manner. Slow motion, syllabic texture and regular rhythm of the lines through the whole composition are working for this stylization. The piece has ABA1 form. The harmonies are simple but colored by additional dissonant tones. The ranges are: soprano – C-sharp4 – G5, alto – B3 – A4, tenor I – B3 – E4, tenor II – E3 – A-sharp4, bass –  A2 – D3. (Originally, the song was composed in C major, i.e. in lower range, complying with the Russian choral style.)

Lyrics

Russian text

 [Там один и был цветок,

Ароматный, несравненный

Жуковский]*

Я стремлюсь к роскошной воле,

Мчусь к прекрасной стороне,

Где в широком чистом поле

Хорошо, как в чудном сне.

Там цветут и клевер пышный,

И невинный василек,

Вечно шелест легкий слышно:

Колос клонит… Путь далек!

Есть одно лишь в океане,

Клонит лишь одно траву…

Ты не видишь там, в тумане,

Я увидел – и сорву!

English transliteration

Ya stremlyus’ k roskoshnoy vole,

Mchus’ k prekrasnoy storone,

Gde v shirokom chistom pole

Khorosho, kak v chudnom sne.

Tam tsvetut i klever pyshnyy,

I nevinnyy vasilyok,

Vechno shelest lyogkiy slyshno:

Kolos klonit… Put’ dalyok!

Yest’ odno lish’ v okeane,

Klonit lish’ odno travu…

Ty ne vidish’ tam v tumane,

Ya uvidel – I sorvu!

English translation

[There was only one flower,

Aromatic, nonpareil

Zhukovsky]*

I seek for the splendid vast,

I rush to the beautiful land,

Where, in a wide smooth meadow,

It’s as good as in a dream.

They’re blooming there: a pompous clover

And an innocent cornflower,

Forever, a rustle’s slightly heard:

The ears are bending… The path is long!

There is only one thing in the ocean,

Only one that bends the grass…

You don’t see it there, in the mist,

I’ve seen, and I’ll pick it up!

* The original poem has an epigraph taken from Russian poet V.A. Zhukovsky (displayed for informative purposes only).

Performance notes.

1.The piece has a maestoso manner. It goes with the same mood and tempo from the beginning to the end. 2. It is meant for performance without any audible breathing breaks (i.e., the non-simultaneous breaths applied) except of the self-evident pauses at the end of composition. Otherwise, the very short breaths are possible at the end of the phrases. 3. The tenor part is constantly divisi to create additional harmonic colors, and should be treated with care in order not to dominate over other voices. 4. The bass part is better to sing by deep profundo-like voices.

 

Look at the score sample

Listen to and watch the whole piece as media clip on YouTube

! This work may be commissioned or/and performed. First 10 copies are distributed at no charge. 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.

Explore my other choral compositions