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Works Arioso Dolente / Beethoven Op. 110 Theodore Lotis

Arioso Dolente / Beethoven Op. 110

  • Theodore Lotis
  • Year composed: 2002
  • Duration: 7:06
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Commission: Amici della Musica di Cagliari
  • Premiere: June 1, 2002, Monumenti Pianistici — Intorno a Beethoven, Chiesa di Santa Chiara, Cagliari (Sardinia, Italy)

Arioso Dolente / Beethoven Op. 110 is based on Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 31 in A-flat major, Op. 110, and more specifically on the third movement, which provided all the sonic material for the composition. The arioso dolente, which carries out the main melodic themes, is the epicentre of the third movement. Although I have largely maintained the harmonic structure and even the melodic profiles of the movement, the electroacoustic piece remains a comment on the original piano sonata rather than an analytical approach to Beethoven’s music. I was more interested in the spiritual aspects of the sonata. Beethoven had just rebounded from a period of illness. His recovery sparked his creative forces resulting in the genesis of Op. 110. Both the joy and the melancholy of life are merged in this movement as an omnipresent duality. While composing my musical comment on Beethoven’s adagio I tried to enhance this duality by means of spectral transparency and luminosity which often contrast and converse with textural obscurity and opacity. The main melodic theme of the original arioso dolente appears in the middle of the piece, remote, magnified and utterly stretched in time.

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Arioso Dolente / Beethoven Op. 110 was realized in 2002 at the studio of City University London (England, UK) and the composer’s studio, and premiered on June 1, 2002, during the festival Intorno a Beethoven in Cagliari (Sardinia). The piece was commissioned by Amici della Musica di Cagliari (Sardinia). Thanks to Maria Metaxaki for the piano recordings, and to Lucio Garau for initiating the commission. Arioso Dolente / Beethoven Op. 110 was awarded the 1st Prize (UK Section) at the Jeu de temps / Times Play (JTTP) competition of the Canadian Electroacoustic Community (CEC, Canada, 2003) and has been recorded in 2004 on the CD Cache 2003 CA+UK (PEP 008).

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