Canti eleatici was composed for the Israel Camerata Jerusalem – celebrating its 31st season of activity - and inspired by the theme proposed for the evening of the première: ‘In the Footsteps of the Philosophers.’
The Eleatic School was founded by philosopher Parmenides (VI-V century B.C.) in South Italy, in the Greek colony of Elea, a flourishing town on the Tyrrhenian coast, with beautiful temples and a harbour. Remains of the city walls and traces of other buildings still exist today. The Eleatic School can be regarded as the beginning point of Western philosophy. For the first time the empirical approach to reality was replaced by an ontological approach, through the formulation of the all-encompassing concept of Being as a timeless dimension, that expresses the substantial unity of things. Canti eleatici was conceived as a musical counterpoint to the discovery of thought in the archaic atmosphere of the old Greek culture, that is the root of Southern Italy culture. In Italian the word ‘canto’ means both song and poem, and this term happily expresses the synthesis of word and music, thought that becomes sound. The idea of ‘singing’ is expressed in the score in particular through passages given to solo instruments, like the flute at the beginning of the work or the violoncello that opens the second ‘canto.’ The score is articulated in two parts and the second ‘canto’ is a theme with variations. In music there are interesting common features between the Neapolitan popular tradition – Naples is the city where I was born - and the Jewish tradition, that share, for instance, a similar music scale, with the flatted second scale degree. I used this scale together with references to some gestures typical of the Jewish traditional music - such as the solo part of the horn, that reminds the sound of the shofar, in the finale of the second canto - as a homage to the Israeli culture.
Canti eleatici is dedicated to Edward and Sylvia Agostini