linea dell'orizzonte (U.S. premiere)
Born in Switzerland and residing in Austria, Beat Furrer (b. 1954) writes music that painstakingly explores the less obvious ways in which purely abstract forms are recognized, varied, and changed. Utilizing any symbolism or extra-musical meaning only at a bare minimum, his music displays gestures and effects that focus on these more abstract forms.
Furrer describes his linea dell’orizzonte (line of the horizon, 2012) as inspired by his interest in how silhouettes tend to both double and distort something. In a similar way, something resembling a process emerges when musical lines build up and cross each other, casting a moving shadow of sorts. This might leave the listener with the mystery of how the music represents the static line of the horizon mentioned in the title, let alone any distorted silhouettes of that horizon, although these Italian words are open to at least a little bit of interpretation.
After an introduction of many quiet glissando effects and staccato notes, the piano tends to ground the sonority of the piece with widely spaced chords played in a recognizable syncopated rhythm (perhaps at this point in the piece representing a horizon of sorts). A pair of contrasting sections – one emphasizing downward chromatic and glissando motion and another emphasizing high notes held by the clarinet and piccolo trumpet – interrupt and conflict with the opening idea, as well as interact with each other later on. A coda centers around an extremely high pizzicato note on the violin that repeats very slowly until the end.