A: In short: It’s a rewriting of the original piece, a “translation” — if you like — where some elements from the original composition by Robert Schumann give life to something new. Not all the episodes are there, the original ones were portraits of masks from commedia dell’arte or portraits of Schumann’s friends. The new ones are portraits of no one, or are portraits of ineffable, anonymous, creatures.
The other idea is that of having the pianist changing mask at each new episode. Therefore the paraventi, which means “screens”. They are electro-acoustic interludes — deliberately tasteless — to give him time to get changed.
B: Yes, yes, what you say I understood a little. Moreover there’s a complex and very evocative sonic range. I’d say romantic, not in the sense that the adjective is usually given when talking about music, but rather in the sense that they evoke something there and not there at the same time.
(which is already in the original piace, a series of evocations – and that’s the job of masks, after all). So obviously this also prompted me to investigate how these evocations work. Rather than an intellectual effort they seem an aesthetic trip to me.
A: Absolutely. An aesthetic trip for sure. I was a conversation with a type of music which I like very much to some extents and not in others and that asks for some distance nowadays. I said to myself: I will write each episode knowing that it is a mask depicting someone but not knowing who. I also told myself that — if I am lucky — I will discover along the way what is character the masks represents. And, in this case, I will keep it to myself, leaving the field open to other people — visual artists — to create completely new masks for the pianist to wear, inspired — or not — by the music.
Alessandro Bosetti Carnival 2 (after Robert Schumann) for masked pianist.
Dedicated to Reinier van Houdt. Special thanks to Maxime Guitton.