• chrisdumigan

Carlo Francesco Defranceschi:Tres Miniaturas

Updated: Apr 17

Tres Miniaturas

Carlo Francesco Defranceschi

Les Productions D’Oz: 4 pages

These three one page miniatures are small in stature, but complex in their writing. Named after three plants the musical style from this much – lauded composer is complex and elusive in their key structure, simply because the number of major and minor chords is minimal, the composer relying more on at times almost Debussyian harmonies with the use of augmented chords one after another, and others more enigmatic, so that one follows another without any key structure. Having said that, one might think that these pieces are atonal, which they are decidedly not but they have a quite uniquely mysterious flavour to them.

The first Asphodelus is an Andante Poco Mosso that immediately makes the impression of not being written by a guitarist, something that is compounded by the fact that revision and fingering are done by Cristiano Porqueddu throughout. There isn’t a key signature and the opening phrase is in three voices moving throughout various chords that, although tonal, sound mysterious and almost other worldly, when placed after one another. A sudden race up the fingerboard in ever – shortening note values, brings one back to the opening idea that leads this time to a different place where the dominant interval in the chords is a fourth, climaxing in a five note chord entirely made up of fourths. A brief return to the opening phrase this time goes in yet another direction, leading to a final coda consisting of a different race up the fingerboard and a final chord in fourths that is completely unexpected as it closes on a top Db, about as far away from before as you could get, and all this in just 27 bars!

The block chord of multiple fourths continues immediately into No2 Pistacia Lentiscus, wherein the first two bars of this Lento 5/4 are entirely just this chord moved around the fingerboard. It then becomes a fast semi –quaver arpeggio pattern before returning at the close with a variant of the opening block chords and a final run down the fingerboard for a low E.

The final Santolina Insularis is a 5/8 Moderato in mostly two voices that move around in a diverse manner over a great deal of the fingerboard, which makes this far from easy, and closes 19 bars later on a final arpeggiated chord on fret one .

This is an intriguing little set that speaks volumes, in a most individual manner, and one that gives of its secrets in a most satisfying way, should you be willing to put up with its unusual style.

Chris Dumigan

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