Ion Marmarinos (Greek/France)

Dr. Ion Marmarinos (b.1975) is a Greek composer based in France. His music has been described as “mesmerizing…the music emerges completely fresh, its inspiration fully honoured” [Fanfare Magazine] “self-contained well-defined…with a strongly characterised writing style…some of the most up – and – coming composers of today” [RMN Classical], “hauntingly engaging” [classikON], “instaure une dimension théâtrale’’ [ResMusica], “une musique toute en volutes, avec de belles atmosphères, toute de douceur” [Thierry Vagne], and “one of the highlights of the show” [The Guardian]

Inspired primarily by phenomena, imagery and patterns of temporal formations in nature while at the same time focusing on the presence and absence of memory, his music narrates stories of contrasts of complex structures. They attempt to create an experience of temporality that gradually camouflages the conscious perception of an organized time and therefore one that becomes personal to the listener.

Ion’s music has received numerous awards and distinctions such as the Matan Givol international composition competition (Israel), the Bruno Maderna international composition competition (Ukraine), the Kaleidoscope international composition competition (USA), King’s College London’s Collaborate and Engage innovation award (UK), the Ablaze Records’ New Choral Voices Series international competition (USA), RMN Classical’s Contemporary Chamber Music international competitions (UK), Petrichor Records’ international competition (USA), PARMA Records’ international competition for orchestral works, (USA, Czech Republic), Artistes en Herbe international composition competition (Luxembourg), Juventas international composition competition (USA), and the Ierapetra and Zografou national competitions for original theatrical score (Greece).

His compositions have been performed internationally, among others by the Lumina String Quartet, The Winds of The Americas, Lontano, EXAUDI, L’ Ensemble Alternance, L’ Ensemble Court – Circuit, Meraki Chamber Players, Unicamp Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Contemporary Orchestra, Vertixe Sonora Ensemble, Phoenix Ensemble, Roadrunner Trio and Coro Volante, in England, France, Italy, Ukraine, The Netherlands, America, Brazil, Australia and Greece in venues such as the Frederick Lowe Theatre (New York), The Black Box Theatre (New York), Salle Cortot (Paris), Teatro Comunale di Bologna (Italy), the Lviv Philharmonic Hall (Ukraine) and the Verbrugghen Hall (Australia). Working primarily in Greek and American independent productions, he occasionally composes music for the theatre, short films and contemporary dance.

Ion began his musical studies at the age of 5. At the age of 9 he started composing while studying piano and Hindemith theory at the Athenaeum conservatoire in Athens. He continued his musical studies in New York, London and Paris with Justin Dello Joio, Rob Keeley and Michel Merlet. He holds a PhD in composition from King’s College London, a Certificat de Perfectionnement in composition from L’ École Normale de Musique de Paris “Alfred Cortot”, an MA in composition from New York University, an MBA from the State University of New York at Albany and a BSc in business from the American College of Greece where he also studied psychology and mathematics.

He taught composition, theory and percussion in England, America and Greece, at King’s College London, The National conservatoire of Greece, Delfiko conservatoire, Athena conservatoire, at musical institutions and secondary schools in New York as well as privately.
His music is published by the Composers Edition and distributed worldwide by Ablaze Records, RMN Classical, Naxos Music Library and Albany Records of America.

Par Ciel

Par Ciel (by sky), a wordplay on partiels (partials), is inspired by the rain. Structured on multiple temporal groupings of pitches as well as on combinations of different registers of harmonics derived from the pitches of the three motifs utilised, the music reflects various sounds of drops initially resembling accidentally occurring tones. They conspire, combine with each other and accumulate to create snapshots and fragments of rainfall that is gradually transformed into blocks of moving, overlapping and palindromic harmonic progressions.

The piece highlights the breakdown of the orchestra’s aggregate sound and color into thin instrumental combinations set against thick(er) harmonic blocks. I perceived drops of rain as particles of a larger water mass and I compared them to partials of sound. They emerge and vanish as entities, which create their own structure, duration, density of texture, intensity, register and patterned formations.

Matteo Tundo (Italy)

  Matteo Tundo is an Italian composer. His primary interest in composition is the perception and cognition of the sound event, the neural mechanisms that lead to the signification of sound. His work is focused on the application of the neuroaesthetic in music composition.

After his early studies in classical guitar, he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Jazz guitar, studying with Umberto Fiorentino at the Conservatory “Luigi Cherubini” in Florence and then a Master’s degree in Music and New Technologies. Later he specialized in the Master Sound Technologies and Music Composition at the Conservatory “Arrigo Boito” in Parma. He studied with Marco Ligabue, Alfonso Belfiore, Javier Torres Maldonado, Alvise Vidolin, Laura Zattra, Giorgio Colombo Taccani, Angelo Farina, Esther Lamneck, Emilio Ghezzi and many others. He attended master classes in composition with Yan Maresz, Achim Bornhoeft, Daniel D’Adamo, Iñaki Estrada, Karlheinz Essl, Gianvincenzo Cresta and others.

His music has been played in several Countries: Italy, Germany, Spain, United States, Iran, Korea, Japan and He participated as composer at international music festivals: Mise-En Festival (2019), Labirinti Sonori (2018), Diffrazioni Festival (2014, 2016), Estate Fiesolana (2016), Cluster Music Festival (2018), MUSLAB (2018), OUA-EMF (2017), New Music Day (2017), Mise-En Festival (2019), IlSuono Contemporary Music Week (2019).

Matteo is a member of ESCOM (European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music).

He has released three albums: Acatalepsy (Music Republic 2014), Zero Brane (Aut Records 2015) and Equilibrio di Hardy-Weinberg (Antimateria Lab 2017).

address: Via Gavazo 65, Ricengo (CR), 26010, Italy site: tel. : +39 3404575273

MUTAZIONI, for piano


In these studies for piano the term “mutation” (mutazione) refers not so much to the musical material itself, but to the perception that this process activates in the listener. The possibilities of mutation are explored through the repetition of well recognizable figures, which undergo changes sometimes evident, sometimes hidden. The form of the studies arises from the activated mutation processes, with some external elements that momentarily interrupt the flow by varying its development.

Pierluigi Tanzi (Italy)

  Pierluigi Tanzi was born in Parma. After the studies of Composition with M° Edgar Alandia Canipa, he attended the Advanced Composition Improvement Courses at the National Academy of Santa Cecilia in Rome, with Franco Donatoni and the Gregorian and Sacred Music Baccalaureate at the Pontifical Institute for Sacred Music.

His works have been selected, performed and awarded in competitions, reviews and festivals of contemporary music: Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia e New Consonanza Festival (Rome); Rai radiotre; Gallery Visual Art and Music (Theatre delle Colonne) and Festival della Musica (Parma); Calderara Foundation (Orta – NO); Gran Teatro La Fenice – Endas Sonopolis (Venice); Rex Theatre – Festival of Beograd in collaboration with CEMAT; Adria International Percussion Summer Course in collaboration with Arizona State University; Jan Hus Churchand, New York City; Univerity of South Florida – New Music Festival and Marimba Festival (Tampa, FL, USA); NGQ’s Jubilee Miniatures (Tuebingen – Germany); Muzyka na Wielki Czwartek – Polski Choir Kameralny (Gdansk Poland); Call for Scores “Risuonanze 2015” Auditorium casa della Musica (Trieste); Hebrides Ensemble Stockbridge Prish Church, Edinburgh; International Percussion Premiere Night 2018 – Trieste; Trieste; Festival Osmosi 2018 – Espace Toots – Bruxelles; Musée de La Boverie- Liège.

He is Professor at the Conservatorio di Musica L. Refice – Frosinone.

Pierluigi Tanzi è nato a Parma. Dopo gli studi di Composizione con il M° Edgar Alandia Canipa, ha seguito i corsi superiori di Perfezionamento in Composizione all’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia con il M° Franco Donatoni e di Canto Gregoriano e Musica Sacra presso l’Istituto Pontificio di Roma.
Le sue composizioni sono state selezionate, eseguite e premiate in concorsi, rassegne e festival di musica contemporanea: Accademia Nazionale Santa Cecilia e Festival nuova Consonanza (Roma); Rai Radiotre; Galleria arte visiva e musica – Teatro delle colonne e Festival della Musica e delle Espressioni del Pensiero (Parma); Fondazione Calderara (Orta – NO); Gran Teatro La Fenice – Endas Sonopolis (Venezia); Teatro Rex – Ring-Ring Festival di Beograd in collaborazione con CEMAT; Adria International Percussion Summer Course in collaborazione con Arizona State University; Jan Hus Church, New York City; University of South Florida – School of Music – New- Music Festival e Marimba Festival (Tampa, FL, USA); QNG’s Jubilee Miniatures (Tuebingen – Germany); Muzyka na Wielki Czwartek – Polski Choir Kameralny (Danzica – Polonia); Call for scores – “Risuonanze 2015” – Auditorium casa della Musica – Trieste; Hebrides Ensemble Stockbridge Prish Church, Edinburgh; International Percussion Premiere Night 2018 – Trieste; Festival Osmosi 2018 – Espace Toots – Bruxelles; Musée de La Boverie – Liège.

E’ docente presso il Conservatorio di Musica L. Refice di Frosinone.

già l’ora volge


Il tramonto riassume, in misteriose figurazioni, le peripezie del vento, del freddo, del caldo, della pioggia, in una rappresentazione completa del giorno, con un principio, un centro e una fine, e quando, tra le nuvole, il cielo si tinge delle luci del tramonto, si leggono i moti delle coscienze in una sintesi dei conflitti, delle conquiste e dei tracolli che si sono succeduti lentamente, ma in maniera visibile,
nel corso della giornata.


The sunset summarizes, in mysterious figurations, the vicissitudes of wind, cold, heat, rain, in a complete representation of the day, with a beginning, a center and an end, and when, in the clouds, the sky is tinged of the lights of the sunset, we read the motions of the consciences in a synthesis of the conflicts, of the conquests and of the collapses that have happened slowly, but in a visible way, during the day.

Massimo Malavasi (Italy)

A Composition and Piano graduate.

Alongside a very productive compositional activity, he has had an equally intense concert, didactic, musical arranger, and choir director activity.

He has received rewards and distinctions in Italy and international composition competitions.

With the formation of the group Armonya Nova he has recorded the cd “Armonya Nova Gospel”.

Among his compositions: the “ Regina Nivis” Mass, The Christmas Oratory “The Stone and the Light” and the Oratory of Passion for soli, choir and orchestra, the operas “Other Lives” and “Fragments”, the musicals “Look”, “Gramigna’s Lover”, “The Saint of Arra”, “The Canterville Ghost”, “The Angel of Hell’s Kitchen”, “Nix”. NIX had an Equity Showcase production at Planet Connections Theatre Festivity in NYC, and was nominated for 8 Outstanding Awards, including Outstanding Production, Outstanding Music & Lyrics and Outstanding Book of a Musical; a concert for piano and orchestra, studies and sonatas for piano and for chamber music formation.

Since 2001, Massimo has been Director of “La Ghirlandèina” choir in Modena. The group specializes in recovering folk songs in their dialect, has recorded two CDs of traditional music and given more than 400 concerts.

He is the author of the book for piano method “Four Little Hands” published by Ricordi.

Program notes : Concerto per Pianoforte e Orchestra N°1

The Concerto N ° 1 for Piano and Orchestra, completed in 2015, is a concerto of large scale, divided into three movements. The structure is that of the great classical concertos, taken as a model as one of the highest points of artistic creation in the field of solo concertos. Despite the classical concerto form, this work is affected by harmonic influences from jazz music, even if these never emerge explicitly. These harmonies are structured in a language where each note is written and not improvised, and this consolidates the complexity of the structure. The great forms of the classical convention are the basis of the construction of the individual movements: from the sonata form to the rondo form. All these forms are revisited while maintaining at the base the continuous idea of variation. The concerto presents in all three movements wide-ranging melodies, an element almost forgotten by the twentieth-century avant-garde, but here taken up as a valuable element that strengthens the composition. The recovery of the best elements of the past mixed by a myriad of elements of the contemporary, characterize this new artistic form, in which virtuosity still has its space to assert itself.

Alejandro Javier Padilla Gallegos (Mexico)


Alejandro Javier Padilla Gallegos (Monterrey, Nuevo León). Composer and guitarist. For 5 years (2003-2007) he was coordinator of the Composer Center of Nuevo León, the main agency dedicated to the dissemination of contemporary music in the north of the country. He is founder of the International Festival of Contemporary Music “New Music” of CONARTE.

He was Coordinator of Music and Theater of the Arts of CONARTE from 2008 to July 2012. Winner of the Creators with Trajectory scholarship in 2013. Artistic Coordinator of the Composer Center of Nuevo León, generation 2014-2015. As a guitarist he has performed on the most important stages of Nuevo León, he has been a composer and guitarist of different plays and dance, in addition to recording a music record by composers from Nuevo León along with the Itinerant Ensemble, which he directed from 2003 to 2010. His work has been performed in more than 10 countries by the most recognized ensembles and soloists on the world stage such as ARDITTI, TAMBUCO, NEOPERCUSIÓN, HET TRÍO, Peter Sheppard and Aron Shord, Pierre Strauch, Nicolas Crosse, Álvaro Bitrán and Wilfrido Terrazas, among others. On November 8, 2019, his Concert for Guitar and Orchestra, dedicated to the virtuoso guitarist Marco Tamayo, was premiered by the Symphonic Orchestra od the Escuela Superior de Música y Danza de Monterrey, under the direction of Maestro Leo Brouwer. Alejandro Padilla is member of the World Timbres Mixture, a team of composers and players that use this technique created it by the recognized composer France-Argentinian José Luis Campana. Padilla is professor at the Monterrey School of Music and Dance of Composition, Analysis, Contemporary Music and Mexican Music. From 2013 to date, he is the Dean of the Superior School of Music and Dance of Monterrey. He has two degrees, one in Composition and another one in Guitar Player from the Superior School of Music and Dance of Monterrey.

for String Quartet

The String Quartet Defragmentation, was written after reading about the destruction and creation of the stars, the structure and relationships of the intervals are created from imagining how the particles of a star are concentrated and released and how the apparent destruction of the star arrives same, but that is a necessary process so that the universe is in full change.

Marco Molteni (Italy)

 MARCO MOLTENI was born in Como (Italy) in 1962.

He studied composition with Luciano Chailly and Giuseppe Giuliano; electronic music with Riccardo Sinigaglia at the Conservatory of Music of Milan, getting his diploma in 1985 and 1988.

He attended several perfectioning courses like : Accademia Chigiana – Siena (Franco Donatoni); Atelier de Recherche Instrumental IRCAM – Paris; Darmstadt Ferienkurse.

His music has been rewarded and recognized in important international competitions (Gaudeamus Music week – Concorso Internaz. “Casella” – Concorso Internaz. Icons Torino – Concorso Internazion. Guido d’Arezzo – Festival WNMD 2010 Sydney – IBLA Grand Prize NY- International Festival of Electroacoustic Music MUSLAB Mexico – NYCEMF Electroacoustic Music Festival New York etc.) and played in several places like IRCAM, Chigiana Novità Siena, Festival Antidogma Torino, Ferienkurse fur Neue Musik Darmstadt, Gaudeamus Musik Week Amsterdam, Nuove Sincronie Milano, International Review of Composers Belgrad …

His music has been broadcasted by Radio France, RAI Radiotelevisione Italiana, ABC Sidney, CBC Toronto etc. and it has been published by BMG Ricordi and Ars Publica.

Tripled Yellow
for six instruments

The piece for ensemble “Tripled Yellow” was written in 2017 and is the transcription and further elaboration for six performers of the piece for clarinet and piano entitled “Yellow for Piet”, inspired by the yellow color inserted in the Piet Mondrian painting “Broadway Boogie. Woogie “.
The clarinet has an almost concerting part and at the end of both pieces there is a short boogie.woogie.

Zaq Latino (USA)

  Zaq is an artist of many mediums, originally from Philadelphia, who is making waves in the New York City music, art, and alternative-performance scenes. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Ithaca College in Composition and Voice and often jokes about having ‘half a Masters’ from Boston University.

As composer, Zaq has had pieces performed in New York City; Brunswick and Waterville, Maine; Saratoga Springs and Ithaca, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and St. Petersburg, Russia. Zaq’s sound is genre-bending and unique, combining his love of metal, alternative rock, and Indian Hindustani music with his Western-Classical training. He makes music for the sake of music; for the excitement of discovering, exploring and organizing sound; and for the joy it brings audiences. Most recently, he collaborated with YouTube personality, “The Cello Doll” on a mutli-commision project entitled ​dollHauz: f​our non-piano trios for violin and cello​. T​he collection will be performed in its entirety and recorded in New York City summer of 2020.

Zaq will be completing his Master of Arts degree from Colorado State University this coming August.

grasping inFINity take sits name from the phenomenal Ada​ Limón​poem, T​he Noisiness of Sleep.​ The first stanza reads as follows…

Careful of what I carry
In my head and in my hollow
I’ve been a long time worried about ​grasping infinity
and coaxing some calm
out of the softest part
of the pins and needles
of me.

Even now as I cite this stanza I have tears in my eyes—​ ​this is my favorite poem I have ever heard. This idea of forever grasping for something just out of reach, or grasping for the everything that is all around us, clung to me and loosely inspired the composition of this piece, not in terms of programaticism but in ideal, in feeling. The repeating parts are never exactly the same upon their return; there is something always dynamic, shifting, and evolving within this music.

Originally written for the Sigma Alpha Iota Piano Composition Competition in 2018, this piece has remained in my performance repertoire and is one of the few pieces of my own I can [attempt to] play. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, and thank you for listening.

Chen-Hsin Su (Taiwan)

Chen-Hsin SU (born in Chiayi City, Taiwan in 1989) is a composer/pianist/psychiatrist. In recent years, Chen-Hsin’s works have been awarded in several international composition competitions. His compositions have also been performed in America and Australia.

Mr. SU has been studying piano since the fifth grade of elementary school and entered the medical department of China Medical University in Taichung city, Taiwan, in 2008. He began to experiment and compose music during the university period and held a personal piano recital of the Liszt track (including “B minor sonata”) in the school’s auditorium in May 2012. He graduated from the university and received his Taiwan medical license in 2015.

During 2016-2017, he has 2 musical publication (“States of Mind” and “Wanders”) available at, including 24 Concert Études in all 24 keys. Dr. Su had been receiving psychiatry residency training programs at the Taoyuan Psychiatric Center(Aug. 2017- Oct. 2022). He received his Taiwan psychiatrist license in 2022.

Piano improvisation is also his specialty. He continues to post many videos of his improvisations on online platforms. By observing the interactions between people around him at work, he tries to incorporate the terminology he has experienced in clinical psychiatry into his compositions, such as the 31-piece prelude collection named “Vacillations” and the two-movement piano sonata “Psychiatric Interview”, both of which are related compositions. In recent years, his compositional style has gradually changed from romantic to contemporary. As a holiday composer, he enjoyed composing piano pieces especially. Music has always been a way for him to express and record emotions.

Dr. Su especially likes the masterworks of Liszt, Chopin, Faure, Ravel, Debussy, Scriabin, Rachmaninoff, and Kapustin. He anticipates having more piano performances and music writings to share his joys from music with people while practicing medicine in the future.

For further information, please visit his website:

His compositions have been performed by the Sydney Contemporary Orchestra.

Shuang Xu (China/USA)

 Shuang Xu is a Chinese composer, physicist and engineer. His portfolio consists of more than 30 works of a variety of genres, among which are three piano concertos, one violin concerto, several pieces for string quartet and a quintet for Asian instruments.

Born in Nanjing, China, Xu took an unusual path in musical education. Beginning with piano playing around the age of fourteen, he delved straight into the analysis of contemporary music and compositional theory before studying music history and composition by himself. For ten years in higher education institutions pursuing a degree in physical science. Xu was heavily engaged in musical activities at the same time. Asa pianist, he was a keen advocator of contemporary music and performed a lot of new music including his own in his undergraduate school in China. Little known as a composer, nonetheless he has received several private commissions, and his works have been performed in China, USA, France, and Austria.

Xu’s music style spans over a broad spectrum, and his work often exhibits modern techniques applied to conventional sound materials. A notable aspect in his output is that many of his compositions are rooted in nature in a unique way owing to his specialty in physics. He has observed that many natural processes, viewed at a fundamental, physical level, bear remarkable resemblance to the composers’ methods of organising, processing and developing musical materials, sometimes termed as “musical logic” in music theory (Taylor 1974; Ries, 2000). With such realizatdion, he has attempted at musicalising natural phenomena of nature-inspired music that is not, in the conventional sense, an emotional expression invoked by nature, but rather a musical organism following certain patterns originated in nature.

The highlights in his category include Schrodinger’s Violin, Fractals, Silica, Basis Transformation and Phaes Transition, all of which are musical representations of the title. Xu has gone even further and borrowed concepts in subjects besides science. For example, in his string quartet Satin, the four instruments are orchestrated to knit a certain musical texture, and in Ballade, the music materials role-play as different social classes in a setting of ancient China.

In addition to music, Xu enjoys molecules and mountains. He holds a PhD in chemical physics from the University of Colorado at Boulder, USA. He is currently living in San Diego California.


The Seasons is a set of paraphrases of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s famous eponymous suite for piano. It consists of four movements and each represents a season characterized by its unique soundscape realized by the employment of certain instrument techniques. That is to say, the sounds and timbres and the atmosphere built by them become the theme of each movement, whereas the musical materials of Tchaikovsky are woven into the big picture primarily as symbolic and witty elements. A visual analog would be viewing multiple paintings with different prisms and lenses, which capture parts of each painting and present them through the unique distortion of that optical system. Tchaikovsky’s materials are quoted in an order that is consistent with the typical climate of the temperate zones in the north hemisphere, as tabulated below:

Spring – March, April, May
Summer – June, July, August
Autumn – September, October, November
Winter – December, January, February

To echo the original work of Tchaikovsky, I also composed a poem for each movement in both Chinese and English.

The breeze sweeps my face, flipping my sleepy eyes,       风拂面,撩睡眼,惊睹一枝绿艳
      Suddenly I see, a full branch of green colors.
The rain pounds the ground, wetting my shirt,                雨打地,湿衬衣,静赏万丈霹雳.
      Silently I watch, a long stretch of lightning bolt.
The sun sets on the field, plating the golden leaves,        日落野,镀金叶,独踏覆草石阶.
      Solely I tramp, the stone steps covered by grass.
The snow swings in the heaven, irking the gods,            雪漫天,扰神仙,怒断冰封树尖.
      Grumpily I break, the treetops sealed by ice.

Frederick Paul Naftel (UK)

Frederick’s interest in composing began when he was fourteen and developed at University, where he specialised in this area. Although largely self-taught, he considers himself to be an “eclectic” composer, able to write in many styles and formats, as befits the occasion.

Compositions to date include 2 Concerti for Orchestra, 2 Symphonies, a ballet suite “The Legend of Pandora”(premiered by BSO in July 2017), chamber and vocal music. “Three Sacred Songs” was composed for and premiered by La Nova Singers directed by Michelle Nova in May 2017.

In September 2018, his “Double Concerto for Bass Tuba and Contrabass Tuba” was premiered by Andy Wyatt, Mike Johnson and Bolton Symphony Orchestra and the Bass Clarinet Concerto was premiered in March 2019 by its dedicatee, Gerry Green.

“Aubade Pastorale” was performed by The Amaretti Chamber Orchestra in May 2019, while Bolton Chamber Orchestra will give the first performance of “Renaissance Dance Suite” during 2021.

A Violin Concerto is being specially composed for the leader of Bolton Symphony, Anita Levy. This will be premiered in 2021, as will a “Requiem” for women’s voices and chamber orchestra, dedicated to Michelle Nova and La Nova Singers. A ballet based on the Mexican Day of the Dead Festival is also in the works.

In May 2020, Freddy received an award from the prestigious Paul Hamlyn Foundation, having been nominated for a prize by Sir James MacMillan. In October of the same year, Freddy was runner-up in the King Lear Arts Competition, his entry being the best in the Chairman’s Prize music field of the competition.

He is also working on a 3rd Symphony and on a proposed ballet based on the legend of Pandora, having been in discussions with the choreographer Wayne McGregor.

String Quartet No.2

My 2nd String Quartet was composed during the current Coronavirus pandemic and its style is definitely affected by this period. I would describe the music as a strong statement of mind.

In complete contrast to my relatively straightforward 1st Quartet, which is in 4 movements, the present work is in one uninterrupted movement, divided into five parts, with an epilogue.

The intervals of the major 7th and minor 2nd are a strong feature of the music, which contrasts intensely static passages, which are nevertheless uneasily tranquil, with furious and violent sections, often marked triple forte in certain passages.

The opening “Lento” flows serenely but mysteriously as if awaiting some kind of resolution, using motifs rather than fully-fledged themes(of which there are very few). The viola makes an urgent and violent protest, later to be imitated by cello, as if to disrupt the serenity, until the second section bursts in with barely-controlled energy and fury.

This “Allegro feroce” is strongly accented and relentless in its forward momentum, the tension maintained almost throughout until the music suddenly quietens down, pizzicato passages leading to the next section.

The “Adagio Sostenuto” initially resembles plainsong, all four instruments in unison(muted) playing a smooth line which rises and falls, the dynamics remaining “pp” and “senza vibrato”. The line breaks into harmony based on the interval of a perfect 5 th , eventually leading to a passage reminiscent of the very opening of the work. A brief crescendo leads to another quiet unison passage which becomes more fragmented and unsettled, first and second violins announcing an aggressive idea which becomes the initial impetus for the fourth section.

This “Presto Furioso” is even more violently energetic than the second section and at one point, alternates between 3/8 and 4/8, making the music sound even more unsettled. This is music with a strong sense of purpose as well as absolute fury. After a very short scalic passage, the final section begins “Grave” and “pp” with a sustained unison “C”, growing in power with exaggerated vibrato to a series of crunching discords and a wildly disconcerting episode featuring swirling upper strings and impassioned cello solo. The music dies away to the Epilogue.

The concluding part of the work calls for a recorded cello playing a pizzicato pedal, over which violins and viola play a series of overlapping (tonal) triads, giving the music a slightly warmer but still mysterious sound. The recorded cello’s pedal notes slow down until a final powerful discord from the 4 instruments dies away, leaving the “sighing” motif of the very opening of the work to have the last word.

© 2020 Freddy Naftel