Ermano Maggini (1931-1991) - Comment to edition 11

TORSO I for two violoncellos

length: ca 8' – 9'
Lento con espressione – con calore
Molto ritmico – più mosso – espressivo con anima
Veloce e moto ritmico
Molto legato – espressivo devoto

Torso I

In an early fragmentary handwritten note the composer writes: „…the title 'Torso' applied to the musical context means the compositional work as a tonal form (Klanggestalt) which the silence … that …“ but here ends the sentence. In other words: the composition, any composition, remains a torso in the space, be it the music or the silence, but it is the space that completes the corpus. Thus any corpus, also the musical one, remains a fragment of silence, becomes the torso of the space. This statement expresses the composer's approach towards the tonal progression (Klanggeschehen) or tonal body (Klangbild).

It may be surprising that this thought already accompanied the first of the ten Torsi, as it applies even a good deal more to the orchestral works, to TORSO II, TORSO VII or the late trios. This spatial coherence, which comprises the entire treasure trove of experience of the twentieth century, can be found in all his compositions. It is the origin of his musical language and his search for the autonomous individual tone. Since the three string quartets were performed for the first time in the nineties by the Gewandhaus-Quartett Leipzig (cf. Edition and CD), its cellist Jürnjakob Timm has been familiar with Ermano Maggini's compositions. It was a stroke of luck that in 2015 the two cellists Jürnjakob Timm and Andreas Timm chose TORSO I for two violoncellos for the first recording particularly because the works for violoncello solo were not recorded by the cellist Annick Gautier (see discography Edition Jecklin). TORSO I remained the only duo for two cellos in the oeuvre of the composer and was performed for the first time in the Kleiner Tonhallesaal in Zurich in May 1975 and almost simultaneously in Chur/Grisons by its dedicatees the duo Christof Escher and Annick Gautier-Escher. Since then it was not performed again until the cello-duo Timm released their CD 'Laudatio Duette für zwei Celli' (Laudatio duos for two violoncellos). The accompanying text says about Ermano Maggini's TORSO I: „The composition consists of eight sections in aphoristic concision“. This intensity is also true of all the compositions for violoncello solo which will be successively published and specifically commented on by the Fondazione Ermano Maggini Intragna (cf. Catalogue raisonné, further editions and discography).

Text and editing: Evi Kliemand 2016
Translation: Thomas Batliner
Fondazione Ermano Maggini Intragna

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