To compose the opening piece of a symphonic concert is an art on its own. Difficult. In a few minutes, sometimes even in a few seconds, one can affect the atmosphere of an entire evening. Therefore, if one takes the commission to compose an opening piece seriously, he does better have very clear ideas how to do it.
In this case, I was lucky. I got an intuition, very clear for me. My Cinque modi per aprire un concerto (Five ways to open a concert) was composed in the spring of 2021, when the unfolding of the vaccination campaign against COVID-19 began to offer some optimism to a world badly hit by the pandemic. The piece is born out of a precise thought: we cannot get back to our lives if we do not reopen the concert halls, which in many countries had been closed for so long. And this, because every concert hall, when the public takes a seat in front of an orchestra, is a spectacular window into the world. When this window opens, when air and light flow in – i.e., when music makes its entrance upon the stage – then, at this precise moment, life arrives.
But after having repressed the desire for so long, after all the lockdowns, to have only one window seemed too little to me. Therefore, I had this crazy idea to start a concert by opening not one, but five windows, one after the other. Five windows in eight minutes.
The first one lets in some fresh air, full of energy and rhythm (perhaps even with a touch of jazz and rock), a very bright light. The second is a window opened at dawn, with the sun coming in little by little, and perhaps we are near to the sea, because some seagulls can be heard… The third is a mysterious window, a bit magical, nocturnal; I even perceive the steps of some odd dancing creatures. The fourth brings the sound of a well-organized, orderly, almost military life, although there is someone there, who has rather personal and cheeky ideas. The fifth window is the one I like best, because it brings a big collective dance, a waltz, into the concert hall. It begins almost furtively but, in the end, it involves the entire orchestra. And this is precisely how I like to imagine the way we will get back to our lives: by hugging each other and by being together.
Nicola Campogrande, April 2021
Discover “Cinque modi per aprire un concerto” in a reportage of the Radio Nacional de España
22.214.171.124 – 126.96.36.199 – perc (1) – str
Festival Diacronías, Spain
October 7, 2021
Las Rozas – Madrid
Orquesta ADDA Simfònica
Josep Vicent (cond)
Breitkopf & Härtel
Orchester der Akademie für Tonkunst
Jan Schumacher (cond)
Orchestra Sin Fin
Beatrice Venezi (cond)
Orchestra ADDA Simfònica
Josep Vicent (cond)