Tag: Contrasti

Chronicles from Lisbon: Duo “Contrasti”

Last week I’ve got the chance to be in Lisbon to assist at the performance of a work of mine, a Suite in three movements (Lento, Allegro moderato, Con moto) for violin and double-bass I wrote for Duo ‘Contrasti’, a project founded in 1994 by the violinist Diana Tzonkova and the double bassist Ercole De Conca, both Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra members.

I followed this couple of musicians for three dates, from 30 october till 1 November, in different places in Lisbon as ‘Pacos de Coelho’ in the City Hall, ‘El corte Ingles’ where the concert was smartly introduced by Alexandre Delgado,  a famous violist and composer himself , and at ‘Salao Azul da Casa Mora’ in Montijo.

Furthermore was played a sonata by a portuguese composer, Frederico de Freitas. The original manuscript was for Violin and Cello and this transcription for double-bass is an example how this amazing ensemble works. Indeed ‘some times I felt like I had to change octave on some of the bass phrases’ said Ercole ‘so that the two melodic lines didn’t overlap in a confusing way’. An impressive result that proves the perfect fusion of two sounds able to create a unique sonority resulting from two extremes of the string family so apparently different in range and timber.

‘Frederico de Freitas is one of the most representative composer in the XX century Portuguese scene’ said Ercole ‘this sonata, written in 1923, is the first example of polytonality in the Iberic peninsula […] A photocopy of the manuscript was kept in the library of the Metropolitan Orchestra and it was for years on the list of things I wanted to read. On a summer afternoon I had an inspiration and I started to read it. Immediately I became aware of the validity of this composition in spite of the poor state of the manuscript. This gave me the urge to make a transcription also because it isn’t been published yet. A real buried treasure!

At last, the concerts ended with a charming encore, the first movement of the Concert Duo by E. Meyer.

Duo ‘Contrasti’ will revisit Nino Rota absolute music in a series of three concerts shortly announced on their web site. Mr Rota music is well known to the large audience for its legacy with music track. Although less popular, his absolute music production (music not related to movies) is not less interesting. The double bass Divertimento concertante, the d minor violin Sonata altogether with Mr Rota Trio will be presented in the upcoming concerts featuring Mrs Anna Thomasik on the piano.



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