Chamber and Choral Music

Solo, for Piano

Performed by Daniel Seyfried in Baldwin Auditorium, May 7, 2021.

There are at least as many ways of composing as there are people in the world, and probably much more. One of those consists in sitting at the piano, alone, hence the title Solo, and just start dreaming, exploring endless combinations of sounds, letting the mind go, then fixing on paper the best results of those sessions. With this piece I try to catch the magic of some of those moments, and, at the same time, to recount something about the creative process itself in a self-reflexive way.

 Sonata per Violino, for Solo Violin

Performed by M° Francesco Peverini at the Cambellotti Museum, Latina, October 30, 2020.

In this four movements sonata, several themes are dialectized and presented in a recurring way. The developments are conceived polycentrically, so that every idea, each with its melodic form and its transformative function, interacts with the others on multiple levels. In the diverse tempos I entered in dialogue also with the stylistic heritage that every movement brings with itself. With this sonata I tried to portray the increased complexity of our fragmented society, searching for a thread that unites different experiences and sensibilities. The composition has received the third prize at the second iteration of the Premio MUSICA NOVA, held in Latina, Italy.

Motet, for 12 voices.

   Recorded by “The Crossing” at Duke University, February 9th, 2019. 

The texts are taken from 1 John 4:12, 1 John 4:18, and Romans 8:15, aand follow the King James Version of the Bible, except for 1 John 4:18, in which I substituted the original word ‘because’ (because fear hath torment) with ‘for’ (for fear hath torment), for reasons of prosodic rhythm. In fact, I believe that fear is a part of human experience and can generate a positive drive towards a fulfilling existence.

TEXTS (KJV)

First Letter of John 4:12 – No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

First Letter of John 4:18 – There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: for fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

Romans, 8:15 – For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.  

Conversation With Seneca, for String Trio.

Recorded by the JACK Quartet at Duke University, November 18, 2018.

The piece reflects on some passages of Seneca’s Moral Letters to Lucilius. It is conceived as a fractured, post-modernist exploration of Palestrinian counterpoint. No hierarchy between the melodic lines is established. The contrapuntal voices develop constant variations of few melodic and rhythmic patterns. On a poetic level, the melodies are, for the most part, lyrical élans, often abruptly interrupted. They recount of a rationality which strives to weave its fabric, aware of the finiteness of its time. The circularity of the formal construction of the piece, its incessant rhythmic fragmentation, and the diatonicism characterizes it, suggest torment.    

Real joy is a stern matter (Seneca).

Procul Recedant, fragments for String Quartet.

   Recorded by the JACK Quartet at Duke University, April 24, 2018.

The title of this composition, a ‘modernist’, fragmented nocturne for string quartet, borrows some text from the hymn Te Lucis Ante Terminum. The chant is part of the Roman Breviary and is to be sung at Compline (as Prayers at the End of the Day, after sunset). I also preserved some melodic gestures of the hymn.

This prayer is an appeal to the Creator to drive away nocturnal nightmares. The composition was inspired in particular by the following verses:

Procul recedant somnia
et noctium phantasmata;
hostemque nostrum comprime,
ne polluantur corpora.

From all ill dreams defend our sight,
From fears and terrors of the night;
Withhold from us our ghostly foe,
So that our bodies are not polluted.