Carlotta Ferrari (b. 1975) — Preludio, cavatina e saltarello (2016) for organ
1. Preludio alla lombarda
3. Saltarello antico
"Preludio, cavatina e saltarello" (2016) was written for Carson Cooman for premiere on the 1862 Edwin L. Holbrook Organ (currently at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas). This organ was first built for the Universalist Church in Southbridge, Massachusetts until it was rebuilt and enlarged by Charles Fisk in 1966 and installed in the gallery of The Memorial at Harvard University to serve as a temporary instrument before the installation of Fisk’s Op. 46.
The work is a cyclic piece, meaning that the musical material is shared and developed across the three major parts of the work. There are two main themes: the opening motive of the prelude and the opening motive of the cavatina. The prelude is marked “alla lombarda” and employs the so-called Lombard rhythm (also called the Scotch snap) in which a short accented note (on the beat) is followed by the long note. The second theme of the prelude is derived from the cavatina melody; likewise the prelude’s opening theme also recurs within the cavatina. The structure of the cavatina is inspired by the cavatina in Beethoven’s last string quartet and follows its divisions. The “saltarello antico” is based upon the medieval saltarello dance rhythm; its theme is a combination of the prelude and cavatina themes. The tonal language of this work is derived from a modal system (Restarting Pitch Space) originally developed by Carson Cooman. This particular piece employs a form of the Phrygian mode, refracted through the RPS methods.
Carlotta Ferrari (b. 1975) is an Italian composer. Educated at the Conservatory in Milan, she has composed in many genres, developing a personal language that is concerned with the blend of past and present. Her compositions have been performed frequently around the world. Ferrari’s music appears on several CD recordings, including five complete CDs.