INTERCOLUMNIA

Tektosyne incorporates materials and techniques belonging to past traditions, in continuity with Western composers like Ligeti, Penderecki and Sofia Gubaidulina, who proposed, in their works, re-interpretations of traditional techniques. The row at the basis of Intercolumnia derives from the serialization of materials from Brahms’ Fugue for Organ in A minor (Wo0 8). Brahms particularly loved this work, as testified by many documents and letters Joachim and Clara Schumann exchanged.  According to the scholar John Daverio, the subject of this Fugue includes, in the first four pitches, the letters of Brahms’ name (B=B ; A=B ; H=C ; S=E, in German “es”) rearranged as H-B-S-A. In mm.3 and 4, we also hear, for two times, the familiar intervallic succession half step down, minor third up, half step down “B-A-C-H.” The “Bach theme” is here transposed. This Fugue is an example of Counterfugue. The answer to the subject, starting in m.3, is an inversion of it, instead of an imitation at a fifth above (or a fourth below).

The Latin term “intercolumnium” can be defined as the “distance between column shafts, measured at the basal diameter.” In thinking of a title for my piece, the idea of using this term came from the mental act of “spacing” the other two pieces of the collection with a panel featuring less density in the texture. I also liked the idea of suggesting the presence of elements from the past – like the subject of Brahms’ Fugue – through the metaphor of a background landscape against the columns of a temple. Intercolumnia features quotations from Brahms’ work as well. An example is provided by the passage given to the glockenspiel in mm.164-169, taken from mm.53-54 of the Fugue.

Intercolumnia has been commissioned and premiered by conductor Zoe Zeniodi for the Broward Symphony Orchestra