Dolci tormenti
for 16 soloists (or chamber choir) and 7 instruments

Composition Date: 1999
Duration: 00:11:00
Genre: Choral (9 + Voices), With Chamber Ensemble (2 - 9 Performers), Woodwind(s), Keyboard / Plectral String / String Bowed

Instrumentation:

Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Flute
  • 1 x Recorder
  • 1 x Harp
  • 4 x Soprano
  • 4 x Alto
  • 4 x Tenor
  • 4 x Bass
  • 1 x Violin
  • 2 x Viola
  • 1 x Violoncello
Instrumentation Set Number 2:
  • 1 x Flute
  • 1 x Recorder
  • 1 x Harp
  • 1 x Mixed chorus
  • 1 x Violin
  • 2 x Viola
  • 1 x Violoncello
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Programme Note:
Dolci Tormenti is written for 16 solo voices (or a chamber choir of up to 32 voices)and 7 instruments. Three poems chosen for this piece are written by Guido Cavalcanti (c. 1250-1300) who was, next to Dante Alighieri, the best poet of the early Italian Renaissance. These two Florentines were the prime movers behind a new type of love poetry developed in Florence in the second half of the 13th century known as the dolce stil nuovo (literally the "New Sweet Style"). However, within this "new sweet style," an extreme variety of feeling was expressed. Guido Cavalcanti looked at all the possibilities of love. The dolce (sweetness) of the dolce stil nuovo was not by any means its only or even dominant attribute. They also used language which was aspro (harsh), the opposite of dolce. These two terms, with their respective smooth and rough sonority, are proper forms for the embodiment of one of the central ideas of the poetry: "dolci tormenti," or sweet torments. Another very important aspect is that Cavalcanti's poetry consists of multiple levels of meaning. Therefore on the programmatic level, the main idea of the piece is to treat these poetic texts of the 13th century as if they were written in the diverse and complex environment at the very end of the 20th century. On the pure musical level this idea led into the use of a combination of a few different techniques. And of course, on a larger level all of the above required an extensive use of spatial effects. The choice of the musical forces, (a mixed chamber choir and small ensemble of 7 instruments) also serves the main purpose: to achieve an optimum mixture of source, balance, and contrast of sound.
In this piece I have tried a variety of distributions of groups of performers. There are three movements in this piece, and each movement presents a different disposition of performers on a stage. As one can see, the piece in general involves four groups of singers and five instruments: recorder, alto flute, two violas and harp. In the course of the piece the performers (except recorder and harp) walk on stage. This change of locations takes place during two instrumental interludes between movements I and II and movements II and III. While different groups of performers change their locations one small instrumental group (recorder and harp) remain still and continue to play. There are two more instruments that are used only during interludes: cello, which is placed behind the stage, and violin which is placed in the first row of the concert hall.
Dolci Tormenti was written as a result of winning the 1999 Toronto Emerging Composer Award and premiered in Autumn 2002 by Kievan Camerata in Kiev, Ukraine.

Credits: Victoria Maidanik
Creator: Victoria Maidanik
Subject: Dolci Tormenti
Date Created: 1999

Premiere Information:
Autumn 2002, Kiev, Ukraine; Kievan Camerata.

CATALOGUE INFO:

  • Call Number:
  • MV 6217 M217dol 1999
  • Genre:
  • Choral (9 + Voices), With Chamber Ensemble (2 - 9 Performers), Woodwind(s), Keyboard / Plectral String / String Bowed
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • March 29, 2004
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (vi, 40 p.) ; 39 cm.
    46 Pages
    Height: 39 cm
    Width: 28 cm
  • Language Information
  • Language of libretto: Italian
  • Additional Information:
  • For 16 solo voices and 7 instruments.
    Also for 32 voice chamber choir.
    Instrumentation: recorder; alto flute; harp; violin; viola I; viola II; violoncello.
    Chorus: 4 soprano; 4 alto; 4 tenor; 4 bass.
    Words in Italian.
    Text by Guido Cavalcanti.
    Includes diagram of stage set-up.

    Photocopy; master of score in CMC Toronto.

    Additional People:
    Guido Cavalcanti
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Dolci Tormenti for 16 Soloists (or Chamber Choir) and 7 Instruments: Score
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Dolci tormenti for 16 soloists (or chamber choir) and 7 instruments by Victoria Maidanik (Score)
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Dolci tormenti for 16 soloists (or chamber choir) and 7 instruments
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