Sciarrino: Tre duetti con l'eco

Program Note

Salvatore Sciarrino (b.1947)
Tre duetti con l’eco (Three Duets with an Echo) (2006)

For many, the echo is a diagonal passage where the words partially deviate, truncate, and die to the senses.  The inner echo and the echo as a physical phenomenon multiply figures to infinity.  They create a false return that, like an undertow, pulls at perception because they have changed the sound—now too distant, a succession of delays in its wake.  The echo is at home in this music, if not the main protagonist.  Each of the three instruments conceals virtual subjects—a constellation of different emissions among them.  More and more the voices respond in a long, woven form, multi-dimensional. 

Composed for Bruno Lorenzelli in homage to his father Bruno.

—Salvatore Sciarrino

Italian composer Salvatore Sciarrino began his life of creativity as a visual artist. Starting as a figurative painter, Sciarrino developed a fascination for abstraction. Further, he found that music allowed him an appropriately challenging way to outlet his innate desire for artistic experimentation. It did not take long for Sciarrino, an autodidact, to establish one of the most distinctive styles of his generation and consequently become a fixture in the world of contemporary classical composition. He was driven by a self-proclaimed obligation to accomplish a “flight towards the new,” rather than maintain a grip on what once was. Once his career as a composer was stable, Sciarrino withdrew to the mountainous Italian town of Cittá di Castello in order to dedicate himself solely to his work. In his words, he “left the metropolises and sought the shadows.” Sciarrino’s quest for introspective solemnity is often mimicked in his compositions, as silence takes an important role in his works. He asserted that “there is one thing without which no delight in sound makes sense, and that is the intensity of silence. The tension and the thoughts of the person who listens are made perceptible by the person who plays.”

—Andrew Clements