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1 OCTOBER 2016

Birds & Nymphs

Nicola Sani  till I end my song  2016
for pitched percussion, flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano

Peter Maxwell Davies  Eight Songs for a Mad King  1969
for male voice and ensemble

Maurizio Leoni  baritone and recitative voice
Antonio Caggiano  percussion

Luciano Tristaino  flute
Carlo Failli  clarinet
Antonino Siringo  piano and harpsichord
Duccio Ceccanti  violin
Michele Tazzari  cello

Vittorio Ceccanti  director

2016 Birds Nymphs 01


Birds & Nymphs sets out to depict, ironically and sacrilegiously, the two themes of the concert: madness and the inability to communicate. The madness of a king, as a symbol of the deterioration of power, often male, is expressed in the monodrama, “Eight Songs for a Mad King” by Peter Maxwell Davies, one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century. This piece, for baritone and instrumental ensemble, is an extravagant, disturbing, harrowing representation of the madness, demonstrating an extreme vocality, in which the baritone voice extends over five octaves, touching all possible vocal registers, from the deep male voice to the high-pitched female voice, through a multiplicity of sounds including the imitation of birdsong.
till I end my song
by Nicola Sani, in contrast to the piece by Maxwell Davies, is a dramatic song, inspired by The Wasteland by T.S. Eliot, writer and intellectual, part of the Modernist movement that revolutionised and transformed all the arts. In a very precise manner, it recounts the crisis of values and the madness of a society that led to the tragedy of the First World War. In searching for a synthesis between the literary suggestions and the sound horizons, Sani expresses the solitude and dismay of a society that has lost its cultural and political reference points. The percussion slices and defines the spatial density, not rhythmically but tonally, and opens up sound passages within which the instruments swirl, in a kind of impossible fragmented dialogue. The latter expand their timbral space, transforming the sound into a trickling element. In the words of the composer: “The nymphs have gone...a liquid space flows around us, in which we make out forms that expand over time. They look like blurred objects, permeated by a contaminating matter, dancing junk....”.

artistic director Antonio Caggiano

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