Stefano Gervasoni: Sonatinexpressive

Program Note

Sonatinexpressive: Inexpressive sonata – Expressive sonatina?

The architectural development of the Sonata that sterilizes or dominates the expressive impulse of the small form; the intimacy of the album leaf, the most recurrent confession – and the desire to share it – of the impromptu, the romanza, the prelude; the strength or fragility of the emotions or the need for consolation in the intermezzo, the berceuse, the nocturne... Or else the fullness of emotion and elusiveness of the grammars that move the imagination and are inscribed in the charm and the discretion of a Sonatina?  To allow oneself to "say", but only microscopically, as from behind a veil, muted, so that the temptation to express and lyricize are not absolved but only averted, made to live alongside the desire to hold them back, to protect them, to allow them to renew themselves with even greater force. An indomitable force, not possible to crystallize, to sterilize into forms and manners that would show them in full, openly, reducing them for ever into discourse, emblem, surrogate of an active listening, for ever, which that force must each time seek out and rediscover...

The dilemma, evoked by the title chosen for this piece, remains deliberately unresolved....

—Stefano Gervasoni

Stefano Gervasoni is Yellow Barn’s 2016 Composer in Residence.