Niccolò Castiglioni: Music Analysis

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When song is genuine and its light glows, a sound originating thousands of years in the past reverberates into the present. This was the subject matter of our conversation when I first met Niccolò Castiglioni on March 13, 1993 – the beginnings of this language, its perpetuity and its perseverance.

In the concert hall Puccini at the Conservatorio G. Verdi in Milan, Gianpaolo Bisanti was conducting a small instrumental ensemble playing my first composition “Chiacchierio”. It was the beginnings of my research to bring together the study of harmony and of counterpoint – a precious knowledge that Bruno Zanolini was transmitting to me. Niccolò was enthusiastic about it and invited me to join his composition class that I then attended for the next three years until his untimely death.

Listening to music together before knowing each other through words was the first step towards the spiritual dimension of his teaching and the revelation of an enigma – when Time controls Space there are no human barriers. The same happened when I first met another of my great maestros, Krzysztof Penderecki, during a rehearsal of his ‘Passacaglia-Allegro Moderato’ in Krakow. I remember that afterwards, when we were reminiscing about Niccolò, Penderecki was moved by his handwritten music note that I have
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The voice, instrument and element that can shift on different composition levels – melody, pitch research and counterpoint – for me is akin to being in front of a mirror: where does a voice originate and what is it translating? When does a sound transform into song and meet the frontier of the spoken

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