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MONDAY 11 NOV 12:30-13:15
CONCERT 5: GUITAR & ELECTRONICS
NATHAN MILSTEINSALEN
Luys Milan, Azio Corghi, Gianluca Verlingieri, Giuseppe Gavazza, Davide Ficco

Luys Milan (1500 - 1561 .ca): Fantasia XVI de Consonancias y Redobles (da El Maestro, 1536), for solo guitar (ca. 2’30”)

Azio Corghi (1937-): Consonancias y Redobles (1973), for guitar and tape, version with the restored and renewed tape (2018) (ca. 7')

Composed in 1973, Consonancias y Redobles for guitar and electronics represents at best two different aspects permeating Azio Corghi’s poetics and creative path: from one side, even if Corghi refuses any stylistic dogmatism, his music borrows with both hands linguistic elements from the avant-garde scene of the time and put them on the score, experimenting and discovering himself new possibilities related to what he defines “sound-symbol relationship”.

On the other side, he keeps alive a strong connection with the past history of music, in terms of disseminating throughout his scores traces of cultural archetypes shared with the audience, something that started as an almost unconscious process during the first years of his compositional activity, but then became a conscious device, as in Consonancias y Redobles. Here the declared reference is the Spanish Renaissance music of Luis Milán, as we can read from the introduction to Corghi’s score:

“the form and method of performances of Consonancias y Redobles are derived from the indications which Luys Milan wrote as a preface to his Fantasias for Vihuela in the book entitled “El Maestro”: “Las consonancias a espacio y los redobles apriesa” (the harmonies slowly and the ornate passages quickly). Fragments taken from Fantasia XVI of Book I determine the sound events and the performer’s attitude to them. The CONSONANCIAS form “fixed” elements like dispersing blocks of sound energy, the REDOBLES create “mobile” zones formed by point of sound articulated in space”.

Born near Turin in 1937, until 1950 Azio Corghi divided his studies between those of painting and music. Then he attended Turin and Milan Conservatories studying piano, history of music, choral and orchestral composition and conduction with, among the others, Bruno Bettinelli, Massimo Mila and Antonino Votto (Riccardo Muti’s conducting teacher). In 1967 Corghi won the Ricordi-Rai competition with the piece Intavolature, which was performed at La Fenice in Venice, and in 1973 the Fondazione Rossini and Casa Ricordi entrusted him with the preparation of the critical edition of Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri. Despite the prolific activity of those years, his international reputation considerably grew only later, since the Eighties, when he began a successful career as a contemporary opera composer with Gargantua, from Rabelais, staged in 1984 at Teatro Regio in Turin. In the 1989-1990 season La Scala in Milan staged Blimunda, an opera that started a fruitful sodality with Portuguese writer and Nobel laureate José Saramago, concretized in later years with both new operas (Divara -“Wasser und Blut”, 1993, staged in Münster and Il dissoluto assolto, 2005, co-production of La Scala and Teatro San Carlos of Lisbon) and choral and/or symphonic works (Cruci-Verba, 2001, for acting voice and orchestra; De paz e de guerra, 2002, for choir and orchestra, commissioned by Accademia di Santa Cecilia chaired by Luciano Berio).Worthy of mention is also Corghi’s ballet production (Mazapegul, 1985, with The Swingle Singers; Un petit train de plaisir, 1991, for the Rossini bicentenary, performed in Pesaro and broadcast throughout the world). Azio Corghi has been among the most active advocates of Music Composition teaching in Italy, with chairs at Pama, Turin and Milan Conservatories, as well as, later, at the Santa Cecilia National Academy in Rome, at the Chigiana Academy in Siena and at The Royal Philharmonic Academy in Bologna, and abroad with masterclasses held at Berkeley and Cincinnati Universities, among the other.

Davide Ficco (1962-), Aavaaye darun (2019) , on Persian sacred texts, for guitar, recorded voices and live-electronics (ca. 7'), world première


Davide Ficco’s recording of this piece will be the first one ever to use Corghi’s original audio tape materials, realized during the Seventies as the quadraphonic electronic part for the piece. That original tape seemed hopelessly lost until the composer himself found a stereo copy in his studio archive in 2017.

Corghi then entrusted these rediscovered materials to his former student, composer Gianluca Verlingieri, in order to create a new official version of the electronic part. The result is far from being a simple restoration of the old tape, since Corghi preferred to give Verlingieri freedom for a more re-compositional intervention.

Thus, the original and so far unknown tape materials (digitalized, restored and re- spatialized in a multichannel setup) have been mixed with new audio events, appositely recorded by Ficco and processed by Verlingieri, derived from the guitar part as Corghi himself suggested.


Gianluca Verlingieri: Resonancias y Redobles for classical guitar and fixed media (2018-19),  7' 00”



World première

As one may guess from its title, Gianluca Verlingieri’s pieceResonancias y Redobles (2017-‘19) takes inspiration from Azio Corghi’s work Consonancias y Redobles (1973-’74), this last one inspired in its turn by Fantasia XVI by Spanish Renaissance composer and vihuelist Luis de Milán. Azio Corghi (1937-) has undoubtedly been a compositional mentor for the young Verlingieri, and this piece is therefore to be intended as a hommage from a former disciple to his Maestro turning Eighty. More in-depth, Verlingieri thought about his work in terms of “analysis and re-synthesis” of both Corghi’s and Milan’s pieces, agreeing with Luciano Berio’s idea that the best way to analyze a piece is to write another one. Resonancias y Redobles then develops gestures and figures extrapolated from Milan’s Fantasia, convolving them with Corghi’s piece harmonic fields and extended techniques. Electronics plays here the role of augmenting the guitar, both from technical and expressive points of view, helping for example to postpone the sudden death of the dynamic envelopes of chords thanks to a virtual resonance pedal given to the performer. The composition is divided in two separate movements, resembling the two different concepts of Milan’s work, revisited also by Corghi itself, about Consonancias (vocal and quite style) and Redobles (more lively instrumental style).

Gianluca Verlingieri (1976-) Talent exceptionnel” according to Radio France, Italian composer Gianluca Verlingieri has gained international recognition with performances, commissions and projects held at venues such as INA-GRM in Paris, Italian Academy at Columbia University in New York City, Renzo Piano’s Parco della Musica in Rome, the new Florence’s Opera House, Festival International d’Art Lyrique de Aix en Provence, Musica y Escena Festival in Mexico City, Staatsoper Berlin, ARD German Radio Days Festival at ZKM Karlsruhe and many other stages in Italy, France, Germany, Spain, England, Scotland, Switzerland, Denmark, Belgium, Greece, Mexico, USA, Brazil, New Zealand and Australia.

Verlingieri’s compositions have been awarded in numerous competitions and call for scores in Europe and North America and released on compact disc by the labels EMA Records, Limen Music, the Swedish BIS Records and others. New cd releases are expected soon, from EMA Records again and from the German label NEOS, including the première recording of Verlingieri’s string quartet written for the 81th birthday of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, who has been among the important meetings during Verlingieri’s artistic training, together with world renowned composers like Kaija Saariaho, Louis De Pablo, Peter Eötvös, Alvin Curran, Yan Maresz and, in Italy, Alberto Colla, Azio Corghi, Fabio Vacchi, Ivan Fedele and Luca Francesconi.

Honors and awards for his activity came from Cambridge University Press (20th Century Music Award), Atlantic Center for the Arts (associate composer in residence), MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music (guest composer) Washington Composers Forum, Memphis Chamber Music Festival (guest composer), Italian Composers Forum (composer in residence), Tempo Reale Florence (composer in residence), Institute for Psychoacoustics and Electronic Music, Belgium (composer in residence), and many others. Among the past projects stand out a multimedia opera with three different stages commissioned by Maggio Musicale Fiorentino for the 750th anniversary of Dante Alighieri’s birth, a new version of John Cage’s Fontana Mix performed all over the world and several semi-scenic contemporary works for baroque and renaissance instruments. Ongoing composition projects include a new commission for the Bach Organ Festival held at Tomaskirche Leipzig. Since 2011 he’s Professor of Electroacoustic Composition at Ghedini State Conservatory of Cuneo, Northern Italy, where he also leads the New Technologies and Musical Languages Department (METS). He’s invited to held seminars and talks about his music in Italian and foreign institutions, like, among the others, Cesma Lugano (Switzerland) and the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest. He’s been assistan composer of Elliott Sharp at the New Music Project in San Marino.


Giuseppe Gavazza (1957-): Dodici corde e mezzo (2014), for guitar and synthetic sounds (ca. 11’)


The twelve and a half strings (Dodici corde e mezzo) are the six strings of the guitar plus to the six virtual strings modellized with GENESIS-Physical Modelling Synthesi Software-tuned on a six notes chord/mode. The half string is crucial for the macro-form: a virtual gigantic string anchored to one end, tuned 12 octaves below the F2 fundamental of the six notes chord/mode that harmonically colors the whole composition. Its harmonic oscillation generates very low frequencies: its fundamental, 0.0215 Hz (F -10 pitch) has a cycle of about 48 seconds. This oversized fundamental bass becomes audible because the half string pinches the six virtual strings: it is an arm-like virtual player. What I want to point out is that around 1925 Ezra Pound described, with visionary clarity, in his Treatise on Harmony: "In order to say it in other way: the percussion of the rhythm can enter the harmony exactly like another note. It usually enters as lower part, an even more deep bass, giving the main form to the sound."In Dodici corde e mezzo I have gone down even more, using a well-tempered deep bass sub-tone to produce the rhythm and the form of the composition too. To “embellish” this Ostinato bass with the live classical guitar I have chosen the Ciaccona form. The interpreter has a large margin of freedom and plays with the electronics on the basis of listening: there is no written score of the electronic part which is diffused by a small audio system located at the same point where the performer plays the non-amplified guitar.

Giuseppe Gavazza (1957), graduate at Torino University, has studied Composition, Direction, Musicology and Electronic Music at Milano Conservatory with-among others-Paolo Castaldi and Azio Corghi. Has collaborated with CSC Padua University, LIM Milan University, SWF Experimental Studio Freiburg, IRCAM Paris, ACROE-ICA Politechnique Grenoble where in 2018 completed a PhD on subject: Physical model synthesis as tool for music composition. Teaches Composition in Cuneo Music Conservatory. For several years organizer related with contemporary music, arts, and musical theatre for children collaborating with Luciano Berio and Sergio Liberovici. Has successfully participated to international composition competitions: Irino-Tokyo, Ensemblia Moenchengladbach, Bucchi-Rome, Briccialdi-Terni. ICOMS, Novara. Has compositions edited by BMG-Ricordi and Edipan and recorded on cd EMI, Happy New Ears, 2E2M, Datum, DDT, Folkestone Fringe, ICOMS. Artist in residence at La Napoule Foundation, USF-Bergen, Bogliasco Foundation, Asilo Bianco, META-Black Mountain College. During these residencies he developed collaborations with visual artists, film and theatre directors, video makers, poets, choreographers and dancers, writers, photographs. In the last 20 years realized more then 100 collaborative projects.


Davide Ficco: Aavaaye Darun


The composition has a title in Farsi which means "inner sound, sound that comes from within" and employs material from declamations of sacred Persian texts in Farsi (female voices) and parts performed on a pre-tuned guitar, modified to enter in resonance with two daf, large flat drums of the Iranian tradition. Electronic processing is exclusively realized in real time. Structured according to accumulation and relaxation cycles, Aavvaye Darun is characterized by a strongly evocative and mysterious nature, in homage to the Zoroastrian Persian cultural tradition.

Davide Ficco (1962-) was born in Turin in 1962. He received a diploma with honors in 1982 at the Conservatory of Alessandria with Guido Margaria, and conducted advanced studies with John Williams, José Tomàs, Betho Davezac, Jakob Lindbert, Oscar Ghiglia and Alain Meunier, obtaining, from the latter, a grant from the CEE and two Merit diplomas from the Chigiana Accademia of Siena (1982-1993). In 1989 he received the title of Guitar Performer at the Royal College of Music in London, and in 1985 completed the course in Music Education at the Turin Conservatory. Many times awarded in national and international competitions as soloist or in chamber groups, (1978-83), D.F. has collaborated with the Contemporary Music Group and the Symphonic Orchestras of the R.A.I. of Turin (1982-2011) and Milan (1990-1993), with the Regio Theater of Turin, the Laboratorio Lirico of Alessandria, the Orchestra Sinfonica Italiana and the Filarmonica ‘900. He performs primarily modern and contemporary music and has made radio and television recordings for the R.A.I. including many world premiere performances. He has recorded for the labels Naxos, Stradivarius, Tactus, Amadeus, GuitArt, Moisycos and Oliphant with music of the 1900’s. As a composer he has written music primarily for guitar, in part published by Gendai Guitar in Tokyo and Carisch (Milano).

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