music by Giorgio Koukl
Roberta Invernizzi & Carole Manzoni, sopranos
Keiko Kashima, contralto
Giorgio Koukl, composer, pianoforte, cembalo, celesta, glockenspiel
Leandro Galassi & Valentino MarrÃ©, percussion
Sergio Albertoni & Dylan Thomas, poets
Giorgio Koukl's music is representative of the end of the twentieth century, dominated by a certain stylistic syncretism, by the individual performer's virtuosity, and by a tendency to bring together all the "-isms" that have succeeded each other in the last hundred years of music - a century in which the wounds left by the Second World War have not been entirely healed. It expresses the eternal dichotomy between good and evil, and the complexity of reconciling the ethical and moral components in modern man, and the qualitative spirit of struggle and hope.
Here we find the intensely creative lyricism that has left such a strong imprint on the chamber lyric of Luigi Dallapiccola. In the THREE SONGS OF DESPERATION, above all, we find this predisposition towards total vocal identification without excessive intrusion by musical instruments, leaving the voice its rightful space for expansion and breathing.
FOUR PIECES FOR PIANOFORTE: Strong dramatic impact, the subtle distinctions of dynamic weighting and the nuances of colour, the spiritedness of some pages of Prokofiev's piano music, and the naturalistic intimacy - albeit fragmentary and dispersed - of his fellow-Czech, Bohuslav Martinu.
NIPONARI: Piano keys and percussion instruments bring to the surface small but significant colorations of timbre. Koukl portrays a poetic and oriental world which is altogether neutral, capable of a kind of acquired interior peace, where his compositional ability tends to lose itself in the drapery of airy, reassuring sounds.
CEREMONY AFTER A FIRE RAID (original title in English): Based on poems by Dylan Thomas, is a return to the most natural dimension of chamber song (that is, of lied). It is "implosive" and condensed, often highly phonic and chordal, to the point where conclusive reconciliation is achieved between voice and instrument. As often happens with George Koukl, this leads on to eternal confidence in man, and in his search for a superior pietas capable of annuling the dislocations of history and restoring peace.
[Freely adapted from Richard Matthews' English translation of the liner notes by Sergio Mora]
Check out the artist's website:
1. Tre Canti Disperati: Cosa scrivere
2. Tre Canti Disperati: Da dove sgorgano
3. Tre Canti Disperati: Cuore, rimpianto
4. Quattro pezzi per pianoforte: Drammatico
5. Quattro pezzi per pianoforte: Leggero
6. Quattro pezzi per pianoforte: Ostinato
7. Quattro pezzi per pianoforte: Capriccioso
9. Ceremony after a Fire Raid: Among the Street
10. Ceremony after a Fire Raid: I know not
11. Ceremony after a Fire Raid: Into the organpipes