Stefano Gervasoni: Le Pré Aldo Orvieto
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- Stefano Gervasoni (1962): Prés - First book - For Piano
- 1Pré ludique02:17
- 2Pré lubrique01:44
- 3Pré public02:02
- 7Sonatinexpressive - For Violin and Piano15:02
- Prés - Second Book - For Piano
- 11Pré épuré02:02
- 12Pré carré01:26
- 13Pré paré02:26
- 14Luce ignota della sera (D'après Schumann) - For Piano & live electronics04:48
- Prés - Third Book - For Piano
- 16Pré d'après01:59
- 18Pré d'avant02:10
- 20Pré de près03:48
- 21Adagio ghiacciato (D'après Mozart) - For Violin and prepared Piano04:11
Info for Stefano Gervasoni: Le Pré
The concept of the album can be summed up by the word 'pre': inexPREssive, PRÉ... „Pré as a word (in English 'pré' means: meadow or grassland), or a PREfix (PRE-something): before the exPREssion, before being exPREssed, or 'before the game' as in PRÉ-lude (in a pré, a meadow, where children play). In other words: the peculiar state in which something does not yet exist in an accomplished 'adult' form. Childhood as a way of having a premonition of an adult life, with its negative aspects (losing the magic of a non-rational relationship with words, no longer being innocent in grasping and knowing things, losing the ability to marvel at the wonders of beauty) and some positive ones (acquiring a logical, rational, pragmatic relationship with reality). That is why the program includes pieces for children played by adults (looking for an 'impossible' way of getting back to infancy). The 'Sonatinexpressive' (track 7) which could also be called a 'Sonatine expressive' or a 'Sonate inexpressive' (ambiguously suspended between adulthood and childhood) quotes a few elements from the composition 'Précieux (Prés - second book)' (track 8) as a piano accompaniment to a very simple, celestial violin melody.
The album includes two re-elaborations/adaptations: In 'Adagio ghiacciato' (Adagio for Glasharmonika) after Mozart – usually considered as an easy piano piece for children – a silent violin with a metal practice mute plays just a few higher and lower notes and exceeds the two-octave range of a toy piano (again infancy and apparent simplicity). The other adaptation after Schumann is also written for children (adults trying to be children). The piece is composed for four-hand piano. One pianist has to play only a monodic line with one hand: a singing piano. This line is a beautiful vocal line, an 'inner voice', magic and insane - typical of Schumann. The sounds are created with electronics and projected inside the piano. This piece contains some bars from 'Pressenti (Prés - third book)' (track 17) which is a homage to Luigi Nono, ideally linked to Schumann - two 'adult' visionary artists. Again: stupor, premonition, prophetic vision, past (the infancy of PREsent) projected to the future (the declining 'Abend' melody by Schumann turned into an ascending utopian line by Nono, composer of a violin piece with live electronics entitled 'La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura').
Plenty of symmetries and cross-references in this program. The piano is not a piano, the violin is not a violin. When the violin could sing, it is an inner melody made by a transformed piano, when there is a real violin, it is reduced to a toy instrument, the whistling sounds of a Glasharmonika becoming real harmonics produced by the piano and by the small violin ...
The work is inspired by Francis Ponge’s book 'La fabrique du Pré' ('The making of the Pré“) in which the French author opens the doors of his atelier and offers the readers the opportunity to witness the creation of his text 'Le Pré'.
I give a double interpretation to this title: constructing from zero, creating a story starting from the beginning of life (infancy or the infancy of the world); or working on the preliminaries of existence, trying to give consistency to this magic zone where childhood starts its long process of becoming adult (it takes a whole life), magic starts to separate from reality, infancy from adult life and the reverse, adult life feeling deprived and nostalgic of a purely emotional relationship with reality, children and adults becoming aware of the lack of an ecstatic relationship with the world, later replaced by an aesthetic one (in art), by faith (in religion), by love, or by drugs, meditation, extreme sports or any artificial method to go beyond this present, heavy, concrete world. I think this is the leading thread and the deep meaning of this program.
Prés is a cycle of eighteen pieces, divided into six groups of three. Their main characteristics are brevity and simplicity (more or less apparent), making them belong to the category of pieces for children (in the twofold and ambiguous sense of being performable by non adult pianists or taking their inspiration from the world of childhood).
Eighteen small préludes, so small as to merit the name prés, that is “meadows” in French. Thence the underlying theme of the cycle, portrayed in six different ways, three pieces for each one: the apparent carefree atmosphere of a meadow where children play and the premonition of something bad that is about to happen and that the innocent gaze of a child is able to perceive beforehand, with all the sense of foreboding that an adult cannot or doesn’t want to comprehend.
Aldo Orvieto, piano
Saori Furukawa, violin
Alvise Vidolin, electronic
studied at the Venice Conservatory with Aldo Ciccolini. He has recorded extensively, releasing more than 70 albums dedicated to composers of the 20th century on a wide variety of labels, many receiving critical acclaim. He has recorded and performed with many of today’s leading artists and played as soloist with orchestras including the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai di Torino, Orchestra del Teatro La Fenice di Venezia, Orchestra dell’Arena di Verona, Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, ORT Florence, Ensemble 2e2m, Paris, Accroche Note, Strasbourg, the Padova Chamber Orchestra, and with many prestigious chamber ensembles. His performances have been broadcast widely across Europe’s main radio stations including the BBC, RAI, Radio France; WDR, SDR and RSI, among others.
In 1979 he was one of the founders of the Ex Novo Ensemble. He has taken part in many world premieres including works by Maderna, Togni, Clementi, Sciarrino, Ambrosini, Gervasoni, Francesconi, Corghi, De Pablo and Nieder, and has been highly praised by some of the greatest composers of our time (Nono, Petrassi, Kagel, Bussotti, among others).
Orvieto has had a consistent presence at the most important modern and contemporary music festivals, including the Biennale di Venezia, Milano Musica, the Berliner Festspiele, the Akademie der Künste (Berlin), the Mozarteum Salzburg, the Gulbenkian (Lisbon), Concerts Ville de Genève, the Festival d’Avignon, Ars Musica Bruxelles, the Festival de Strasbourg, Warsaw Autumn, Zagreb Biennale, the Gaudeamus Foundation (Amsterdam), the Tisch Center for the Arts (New York) and the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.