Beat Furrer’s “La bianca notte” receives its premiere
At the Frankfurt Biennale for contemporary music “cresc…”, Beat Furrer’s La bianca notte for soprano, baritone and ensemble, after texts by Dino Campana and Sibilla Aleramo, receives its premiere. An instrumental-vocal web of high psychological concentration.
A scene at night: in La bianca notte for soprano, baritone and ensemble, after texts by Dino Campana and Sibilla Aleramo, Beat Furrer has composed the meeting of a couple in a dream-like state of unreality. In his composition, soprano and baritone meet as if encountering each other coming from different rooms. Furrer uses short passages from the letters of Sibilla Aleramo which describe the incredulous astonishment, the unreal sensation of a new love, and an excerpt from Dino Campana’s Canti orfici, his “Orphic Songs” published in 1914. The nocturnal glance at a sky, at a city in which the people appear as wandering spirits becomes a fantasia on eternity in this poetry.
An instrumental web, from which the soprano voice first gradually emerges, opens the work. In the long introduction the voice is embedded in the instrumental texture, and is fully part of a spectral structure. With the emerging of the soprano, speaking begins which later leads into a dialogue with the baritone. In the process the voices are interwoven, yet both initially remain – in style, sound and harmony – in their own spaces. Only after an instrumental interlude does their singing combine in a concerted narrative. “For me, what was interesting was the psychological development of the character, of the voice between speaking and stylisation. It was essential to arrive at a melodic style which is free from the spectral harmonic concept. It is the part-writing which determines everything else and results from the style of the texts chosen” (Beat Furrer). In Sibilla Aleramo’s letters which she sent to Dino Campana in 1916, this style is open and exclamatory. Campana’s poetry in the Canti orfici is of a highly poetic, musicalised concentration, in whose imaginary space the voices finally meet. Marie Luise Maintz(from [t]akte 2/2013)