Four Pieces for Celesta, Percussion (Vibraphone, Tubular Bells, Crotales), Harp and Cimbalom


I Mordente e penetrante – nel Tempo inflessibile e scolastico
Date of fair copy: 11.12.2021
Duration: 2'50''

II Moderato rigorosamente al ritmo
Date of fair copy: 17.12.2021
Duration: 1'00''

III Giocoso
Date of fair copy: 19.12.2021
Duration: 1'00''

IV Vivacissimo
Date of fair copy: 11.12.2021
Duration: 0'45''

Total duration: ca. 6'


The harmonic references in the partial cycle "Op. 22q" appear more concrete and expansive, but also more precisely elaborated than in other parts of the complete cycle "Op. 22". This is already evident in the number of works and pieces that are harmonically related to the main work of the partial cycle: the oratorio Black Snow (Schwarzer Schnee) op. 22q.

Condizioni op. 22q octies contain the last remaining elaborations of these harmonic relationships. At the same time, the idea was to conceive the Condizioni antagonistically to the Evoluzioni op. 22q septies, which were written almost simultaneously. The six movements of the Evoluzioni always follow the same pattern: each movement appears in two parts consisting of a statement and a resulting development, but remains free in terms of its structure. The Condizioni turn this basic premise around. Now the form appears free, but the structure is limited to a few prototypes that are often used repetitively.

In the 1st movement, the tone repetition becomes a prototype of five-part harmony. In five different voice-leadings it is either not divided at all or divided by 2, 3, 4 and 5. The meter is accordingly adjusted in measures of 1/4, 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 and 5/4. Both occur simultaneously. This initial situation is varied with the help of the following processing options:
1) A repeated note develops into the repeated splitting of an interval.
2) Voice leading is varied as rhythmic fragments appear in only one of the instruments, while the other instruments have accompanying functions. Note repetitions set in two voices also appear, while fragments of melodic elaborations based on the five-note chord appear as a new element.
3) At the end of the piece, the repeated notes dissolve into fading tremolos.

The 2nd movement is characterized by "fake" counterpoint, an immanent five-part arrangement of chords, and rudimentary melodic phrases. Voice leading also frequently appears in octave doublings and other ways of processing. This complex interweaving of components is rounded off by a few clear five-part chords flowing in quarter notes.

The 3rd movement commences with a dotted "Hungarian" motive that initially moves within the narrow corset of three chords. At the end of this short movement, the tightly delineated extensions lead into a constricted five-part harmonices, which appear analogous to the end of the previous movement. The fragmentary character of the motive and its retention even in the expansion sections gives the whole movement a muted character.

In the 4th and last movement, harmonies are drawn together into sections, similarly to the 1st movement. This recapitulation of ideas, however, presents itself in a completely different form: while in the 1st movement different rhythmic divisions within the meters impart an unreal character to the harmonies, here the five-note chords are divided into two different levels which interlock by means of perionds of different length. 

Overall, the Condizioni create a loosely silvery effect through the chosen instrumentation, while the accumulation of tonal-sounding triads at the end also adds a painfully nostalgic touch.