Concerto Ostinato for piano and orchestra

Luca Torrigiani, Francesco Di Fiore, Lapo Vannucci

Ostinato is an Italian term translated as stubborn, obstinate. It isn’t difficult to imagine how this meaning can be applied to a musical concept. The “ostinato” in music is the persistence of a rhythm, a bridge, a riff, an effect. My (brand new) Concerto Ostinato, for piano and orchestra, explores through its six movements the idea of ostinato in different ways.
1. Prologo. The first short movement creates a quiet sound setting: quiet sounds, calm atmosphere. The continuous strings beat introduces the first idea of ​​ostinato.
2. Bergamasca. Bergamasca is a lively and bouncy traditional Italian dance built on a ground bass which supports numerous variations and embellishments. Based on the traditional dance structure I entrusted the piano with the task of exposing and supporting the bass for the duration of the movement and at the same time talking with the wind quintet. Plucked strings come gradually further supporting and featuring the rhythmic flow of sound.
3. Passacaglia. Passacaglia is one of the most popular forms of ostinato that in the Baroque period has experienced its greatest artistic expression. The ostinato bass line comes in and acts as a support of a harmonic construction that gradually evolves enriched with dissonances to a harmonic collapse. After a shock modulation that changes completely the sound environment a new growing and dynamic color is suddenly interrupted establishing again the initial condition leading to the early conclusion of the movement in the most traditional of the passacaglia finale.
4. Intermezzo. The movement is a kind of scherzo, a light central movement contrasting with the previous one where the principle of ostinato is broaden in the varied repetition of the theme.
5. Epilogo. The epilogue is an episode of break with the repetitive beginning of the concert, totally contrasting with the other movements, an evanescent and reconciling lyrical oasis.
6. Finale. We return on the final movement to the original structure of the entire concerto: the ostinato here is based on a brilliant harmonic-rhythmic cell of pizzicato strings that supports the dotted theme of the piano offering various dialog cues to the woodwinds.
To get an idea please listen/watch to some excerpts from all six movements. The soloist here is Luca Torrigiani with the Bacau Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Robert Gutter.