String Trio, Five images from a twilight song

For string trio and ad-libitum electronics


Italian title : Cinque immagini per un canto della tenebra 

Year of composition: 2023

Duration: 25' Ca.


Commissioned by Kokonainen-Musequal festival and premiered on 11/08/2023 at the Tervakoski People's hall-Finland

Program Notes:

Have you ever wondered what a movement in music is? How does it differ from independent one-movement pieces or different sections of a single piece with the "Attacca subito" annotation at the end? These subtle differences are not just abstract concepts, but tangible parameters that make up sound structures. The string trio strives to create an interconnected network of musical images through various movements that stand on their own yet rely on each other. While they may be closed systems, they alone cannot fully express what needs to be conveyed. Several years ago, I came across a poem by Dino Campana that left an indelible impression on me. Its haunting quality has stayed with me despite my repeated readings and learning about the author's tragic life. The title of this captivating piece is "Il canto della tenebra." My musical trio seeks to portray five vivid images described in the poem through sound.


Il Canto della tenebra

La luce del crepuscolo si attenua:

Inquieti spiriti sia dolce la tenebra

Al cuore che non ama più!  

Sorgenti, sorgenti abbiam da ascoltare,

Sorgenti, sorgenti che sanno

Sorgenti che sanno che spiriti stanno

Che spiriti stanno a ascoltare...  

Ascolta: la luce del crepuscolo attenua

Ed agli inquieti spiriti è dolce la tenebra:

Ascolta: ti ha vinto la Sorte:

Ma per i cuori leggeri un’altra vita è alle porte:

Non c’è di dolcezza che possa uguagliare la Morte

Più, più, più


Intendi chi ancora ti culla:

Intendi la dolce fanciulla

Che dice all’orecchio: più, più

Ed ecco si leva e scompare

Il vento: ecco torna dal mare

Ed ecco sentiamo ansimare

Il cuore che ci amò di più!  

Guardiamo: di già il paesaggio

Degli alberi e l’acque è notturno

Il fiume va via taciturno...  

Pùm! Mamma, quell’omo lassù!


I canti orfici, Dino Campana




The Song of Darkness, Dino Campana


The twilight is waning:

Unquiet spirits may darkness be sweet

To the heart that no longer loves!


Springs, springs we must listen to,

Springs, springs that know

Springs that know that spirits go

That spirits go by and listen . . .


Listen: the twilight is waning

And for unquiet spirits darkness is sweet:

Listen: you have been vanquished by Fate:

But for the light hearts another life is at the gate:

There is no sweetness that can equal Death

More, More, More


Hear the one who still cradles you:

Hear the sweet girl who

Says in your ear: More, More

And now the wind rises and eases:

now it returns from the sea

And now we feel the heave

Of the heart that loved us more!


We look: already the landscape

Of trees and waters is nocturnal

The river goes its taciturn way . . .

Bam! mama that man up there!


Translated by Luigi Bonaffini