Meet and greet #3: Ivo Antognini
For the next entry in our ongoing series of talks with the composers of pieces in our repertoire, we had the wonderful Ivo Antognini in our (virtual) company. In 2019, we had asked Ivo to write something on a poem by the Basle poet Sebastian Brandt. The poem (entitled Diluvium) describes a severe flooding of the Rhine which took place in 1480.
Even though he was feeling under the weather, Ivo had the good grace to give us very detailed feedback on our performances of his piece. He also let us peak in a little on his composing process:
"I must say, once I had the translation it was a very quick process. Usually when I compose, I don't go straight to the piano and write until the piece is finished. I think for a long time about the piece, when I'm at school or on a walk. In this case, I knew it would be a serious piece, that it would be quite heavy and in a minor key. I went to the piano and had this melody ... and then I had this idea that there should be an upwards shift of a minor third, to change direction. So this was the fil rouge of the piece, to change the image and the scene many times over, like in a film. At the same time, I had in my mind this Diluvium, this historical event of the flooding in Basel in 1342. The beginning of the text, where the scene is set, is to me like something out of the telegiornale. I try to make a connection to the people that lived through this event, and to Sebastian Brandt writing about it. In the best case, in a performance, the audience and the singers can experience this connection too. When I compose, I makes me feel a lot, excited at some times and sad at others. I like composing very much."