The release of this CD celebrates Aldo Clementi’s 75th birthday in 2010. Clementi is one of the remaining living composers of the Italian avant-garde generation, which included Berio, Nono and Maderna.
Clementi’s works for flute (including works for multiple flutes and flute with tape) are performed by one of his long-time collaborators, Roberto Fabbriciani – some of these works were written for or dedicated to him. Many of these works utilize Clementi’s signature explorations of the cannon form, and acoustic illusions inspired by his fascination with the optical illusions in absurd spaces created by M.C. Escher.
Tape parts have been restored with greater detail and spatial effect by Alvise Vidolin.
The liner notes, featuring musical examples, are by Gianluigi Mattietti in both English and Italian.
Clementi: Works with Flutes Born in 1925, Aldo Clementi is the last surviving member of the generation of Italian composers that also included Berio, Maderna, Donatoni and Castiglioni, all of whom created their own distinctive perspectives on postwar serialism and its consequences. Clementi’s personal way out of the serialist impasse was through canon and counterpoint, creating his sometimes luxuriantly rich textures by superimposing instrumental layer upon layer, whether with just live performers or using electronics. So although this disc of Clementi’s works for flute features only one player, the great Italian flautist Roberto Fabbriciani, for whom they were all written, with Alvise Vidolin supervising the electronics, the music never runs the risk of monotony. The two longest pieces here, Fantasia su roBErto FABbriCiAni, and Parafrasi 2, set the solo flute (or alto flute in the case of Parafrasi) against a prerecorded tape, while Passacaglia pits Fabbriciani against a recorded version of himself. In Ouverture, that process goes much farther; it’s a work for 12 flutes (quartets of piccolos, flutes in C and alto flutes) that can be performed live by 12 instrumentalists or, as here, by multi-tracking just a single player to create the wonderfully dappled textures, with their meshing lines and myriad voices.
Aldo Clementi likes to write music in dense counterpoint, often compacted to a tightness that can be almost like a form of strangulation. The Fantasia su roBErto FABriCIAni j uxtaposes live flute with pre-recorded flutes, which are made to sound like a distant, slowly seething mass. The movement of slow masses also characterises Passacaglia, for flute and recorded flute, where the material from familiar flute pieces is heard at various levels, wheeling slowly. Ouverture, written for 12 flutes (half the number of the Fantasia, and all here overdubbed by Fabricciani), is shorter and lighter. Lighter still are the short luCiAno BErio and Parafrasi 2 for alto flute and tape. The construction of Clementi’s music may be rigorous, but the effect in these fine performances by Roberto Fabbriciani is at once desultory and peculiarly compelling.