Title: IL COLOMBRE
Line-up: Flute, Clarinet, Guitar, Tam-tam, Wood-block, Kick, 2 timpani, 4 hands piano, Synthesizer
Release date: 2003
Lenght: 4’10 min.
Premiere: May, 20th 2005, Teatro Smeraldo, Milano (Italy)
Commissioner: Musicamorfosi, music school project
Players: Children of Secundary Music School “Calasanzio” , Director Marina Vaccarini
Composer’s notes: The “Colombre” is taken from the homonym novel by Dino Buzzati.
The story is about a boy that during his first trip by the sea (his father is an admiral) meets a mythical creature, an hybrid between a shark and a sea monster that brings with it a spell: whoever is going to see it will be chased all life long, until he will be eaten.
The boy’s father will forbid him to get in touch with the monster. But curiosity is strong and avoiding every prohibition the boy, become a man, will plough through the sea until, as an old man
he will decide to face the monster and against all odds not only it won’t eat the man, but it will tell him that it waited all his life to give him a treasure he was keeping.
Central plot for Buzzati’s “Il Colombre” is the concept of fear and what it can teach to the man not avoiding but facing it, better, using it as a medium of knowledge to face the path of life.
The same fear as the one the composer has, sometimes, for his creature, driving him to take care of her, keeping her apart from every possible criticism.
I tried to face openly all of this possible problems realizing a work as “descriptive” as “formal”, with a structure almost immediatly denied by drastic musical solutions; all of this was fringed with a little irony and a final “coup de teatre”.
Which composer can represent better the fear and unavoidability of destiny? Beethoven. There are many quotes of his work and those are articulated of different levels: the most recognizable is made of short fragments taken from his Sonata for Piano op.8 n.13 (the famous “Patetica”) from the first and third tempo, the 5° Symphony (two chords), on a passacaglia taken from the fragment of the Sonata op. 111 and its introduction, for its “grothesque” style.
The most internal level is, instead, given from a pulsing engine, a rhythm present through all the composition, like a heart, the protagonist’s heart so suffucated by his fears.
This is musically expressed by the rhythmic figuration on piano on a ternary tempo and it comes from VII Symphony’s Allegretto, deprived of its last beat (quarter note).