Ara

for soprano or coloratura soprano

Daniele Venturi

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Composer Daniele Venturi
Year of Composition 2020
Duration 9' 30"
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Instrumentation Soprano
Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-dv1a3

Notes

Ara is a composition with distinct madrigalistic hues written on a rich poetic text by Matsuo Bashō and dedicated to the soprano Alda Caiello.

The original Japanese text is also used in this passage.

Here are the lines of this splendid Haiku:

Ah! What a wonder these young green leaves shining in the sun!

In musical writing, the figure of the glissando is regularly present, borrowed from some ways of singing typical of folk music of Southern Italy, especially in the musical form of Lamento, in the songs of swordfish sellers, in the ones sung during tuna fishing and more generally in the shouts and calls of Sicilian fishermen.

From the study and mixing of these types of chants and shouts, the production method of semi-intonated voice is derived, that is a particular singing technique that involves the simultaneous use of the sung and the spoken voice.

Another peculiarity present in the musical writing of this composition, is represented by the use of a sort of vibrato of the voice, which can be produced by a very slight pressure of the hand on the sternum.

If practiced with the right lightness, this sort of ‘ornamentation’ becomes an element of great expressiveness and sweetness.

The compositional system used in the composition is based on a scale of 36 pitches which also includes the use of non-tempered sounds. Thus, 24 non-tempered pitches are added to the 12 pitches representing the chromatic scale, or rather 24 sounds that are lower or higher than the twelve chromatic sounds.

From a rhythmic point of view, the piece presents remarkably interesting and complex figurations, derived in part from Balkan folk music and partially from the music of the Aka pygmies of Central Africa.

Just as the vocal polyphony practiced by the Pygmies presents very elaborate rhythmic figures, so in Ara there are particularly interesting and strongly energetic rhythmic figures follow one another without interruption, creating a remarkable listening variety.

Musical writing is based on a striking musical dialectic which clearly establishes the separation of the various formal areas of the composition.

Finally, from the point of view of musical poetics, Venturi’s compositional process may be defined as a sort of ‘material lyricism’.