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Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Die Kunst der Fuge BWV 1080


Konzert für vier Cembali, Streicher und Basso continuo A-moll BWV 1065 nach dem Konzert für vier Violinen, Streicher und Basso continuo h-Moll op. 3 Nr. 10 von Antonio Vivaldi   



With electronics:

Nicola Baroni (1959)                             

Awakening for harp trio, resonances and interactive system (2014) 


Mirko Ballico (1976)

Kindergarten Suite for 3 harps and flute (2015)

Beatrice Campodonico (1958)

Petite Bolero (2023)


Mauricio Dottori (1960)

Nubi grigie (2023)


Fabrizio Festa (1960)

Three meditations (2015)

Alberto La Rocca (1967)

Serenade for Salomé (2012)


Massimiliano Messieri (1964)

Hot Strings II (2013)                     

Land (2014)


Mario Pagotto (1966)

Echoes from the night (2014)


Francesco Pavan (1975)

Isle 4 (2014)


Nicola Sani (1961)

Seascapes VII (2014)


Claudio Scannavini (1959)

Hosiu (2014)


Carlo Tenan (1979)

Jeux de bleu (2016)


New works commissioned to:

Marco Stroppa, Beatrice Campodonico, Vahid Hosseini

from the Booklet of the CD Adria Harp Quartet, ed. Tactus 2018, edited by Giordano Montecchi:

For a composer today, approaching the harp means coming to terms with a somewhat cumbersome imaginary. At the same time, however, it also means working on an instrument of extraordinary, kaleidoscopic versatility; multiplied in this case by four: a phantasmagorical instrument equipped with almost two hundred strings and played by eight hands. The songs presented are proof of this. In them it is possible to grasp the attitude of the various authors in turn towards this millennial heritage, with the possibility almost of measuring the distance, the estrangement, or the indulgence, the immersion in the innumerable, possible evocations of eras, places , cultures, ideal models. Conversely, the dislocation of the different pieces of music within this symbolic space also highlights their ideal antithesis, i.e. hiding or denying these suggestions, to the point of eventually making the instrument unrecognizable, erasing its idiomatic character, transforming it into a generator of unedited sound material and, why not, processed electronically.

The piece by Massimiliano Messieri, Hot Strings II, composed in 2014, constitutes an essay of organization and poeticisation of the same very ancient idea or common cell; an idea that brings us back to an ancestral sediment mentioned above. In fact, it elaborates that tetrachord which has at its center an interval wider than a tone (the Western system translates it into the augmented second) and which unmistakably relates the various ancient musical cultures of the Mediterranean, from ancient Greece to Jewish music , to Arab and Ottoman music. The action of the four instruments generates a luxuriant stratified texture, with a whirling succession of rhythms and melodic cuts that draw a large crescendo of excitement.

The sea is also at the heart of Jeux de bleu (2016), the piece by Carlo Tenan, whose title filters more than an allusion to that magical moment in French (and modern tout court) music in which the two absolute protagonists, Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel totally redesigned the image of the harp. The overwhelming opening arpeggio is the opening of a door, or perhaps a dive into the still inexhaustible féerie of this poetic universe. In the generous, enthralling flow of music, in now luxuriant now minimal textures, a straightforward and stylized tripartite programmatic idea circulates. First the en plein air of the sea, the wind, the sun. Then the gentle sliding into a more intimate, sheltered region, like seabeds, penumbras, luminescence, muffled echoes, perhaps memories, or perhaps dreams. Finally, the luminous re-emergence, as if reborn, free, whirling.

Awakening (2014) by Nicola Baroni is written "for harp quartet, resonances and interactive system" and is in a certain sense the paradigm of that approaching the harp in a "lay" way described at the beginning, with the intent to explore its ability to generate sound events and processes, regardless of its instrumental and poetic history. The composition refers to the now "classic" category of the open and interactive work that is created in real time and whose performance is different every time. There is no score, but only figural prescriptions (single notes, arpeggios, etc.) and software that interacts with the performers and with live electronics. The quartet is divided into two pairs: two harps act as "composers": their actions generate sounds that the software instantly transforms into scores sent to the "performers" (the other two harps) who read them at first sight. Their sounds feed the live-electronics which is in turn manipulated by the two "composers", generating a process that is arranged according to an essentially tripartite architecture.

Echoes of the night (2014) by Mario Pagotto elaborates a more abstract and material thought. The potential of harp con-playing is fully exploited here, pushed to the limits of the metallic physicality of the instrument. The whole piece is as if played on a dualism which, on the one hand, sees a dark, violent element, in which the compressed energy of taut and lashing steel manifests itself and sometimes explodes; on the other, a more airy, vaguely Apollonian register, which in alternating phases seems to contend with that telluric burden, in defense of a luminous, tender melodic and timbre flowering. And in the end it is precisely this light material that wins the comparison.


Hosiu (2014) by Claudio Scannavini instead takes us back to the heart of the poetic and symbolic horizon of the harp. It is no coincidence that the title of the piece comes from ancient Egypt, the true cradle of the ancient harp. Hosiu has a double meaning: "fascination of the gaze" and "enchantment". But there is nothing explicitly exotic or archaic in this music, all conceived in terms of an oxymoron, or rather of a concordia oppositorum. In the author's intent, the writing contradicts the idiomatic topoi of the instrument, with unusual figures such as the repeated or the marked rhythmicity. The result is a page entirely built on a refined and iridescent iterative rhythmic stratification, which opens with an indication, also ironically contradictory: Meccanico evocativo. The "incantatory" gait can actually sound like a tribute to the harps of oral traditions, which largely exploit the propulsive virtues of the strings. On the other hand, the harmonious fabric, the polymodality, the sudden detours, speak decidedly modern French. As for the tireless, rocking rhythmic device, it is also a subtle swinging game of contradictions, with irregular figures that materialize, muddy the tactus (often simultaneously misleading the harmony) and, like a sort of rhythmic dissonance, generate a tension that is resolved with the return to a renewed ecstatic pulsation that finally dematerializes in the Suspended and resonant of the closure.

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