GIOVANNI PIACENTINI: Preludio de un Diamante (2014​)​, I. Apenas

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It is a very satisfactory and, unfortunately, not a very common occurrence, to have a piece of music come together so naturally and swiftly. This piece, “Preludio de Un Diamante” commissioned by the sTem trio, is an example of this joyous phenomena. As soon as I thought of the adequate text to set to music, the vision of a work by, not only a living author but also a young one, seemed like a fresh response to an already saturated repertoire of classic literature.

Alzati’s poetry is raw, vivid and full of muscle. I looked for a way to highlight these traits by contrasting the heavy text with a light yet harmonically haunting accompaniment. The strong and at times psychedelic imagery suggested by all three movements are injected into the audience by the voice, echoed by the shadow and ethereal presence of the clarinet and embraced by the piano. The personal nature of the lyric and the “in your face” attitude it projects, called for a less active, more textural canvas where the “loud” words could be engraved on.

- Giovanni Piacentini


I. Apenas (Barely)

We were barely
A scream,
the densest of darkness
a scream
generous in its violence
virulent, fragile
fierce confetti
We were barely
The edge of a footprint
The lining of a sea star,
A tiny eyelash
in an abandoned lot barely,
the prelude of a diamond,
rainbow of oil spilt on the pavement,
a defying squeal, an alibi, a stagger


from Lieder​/​Canciones, released September 1, 2016
Text by Fausto Alzati



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sTem New York, New York

sTem champions the aural and theatrical possibilities of vocal chamber music through dramatic performances, innovative commissions, and community outreach.

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