Riflesso sul tasto
for 3 players (2007)
14 minutes – no.40

'Riflesso' is the Italian word for sheen. In German one would say 'Abglanz', in French 'reflet', and in Dutch 'weerschijn'. 'Riflesso' is cognate with the more familiar word 'riflessione' (reflection), yet its meaning has additional subtlety: reflective light of a tone different from that of its source.

Riflesso sul tasto ('sheen on the key') is part of the Riflessi series, which consists exclusively of companion pieces: each Riflesso explores the same exceptional scoring of an existing 'classic' by a composer from the past. Riflesso sul tasto is a companion piece for Refrain (1959) by Karlheinz Stockhausen.

The composition by Stockhausen is widely known because of the unconventional look of its score: arch-shaped staves plus a transparent strip with additional notes. The position of the transparency is free and decided upon by the performers. Thus the form of Refrain differs substantially with each performance.

In the year 2000 Stockhausen created a new version of the piece, entitled 3 x Refrain 2000, dismissing the unpredictable parameter of the strip to the bin. However, the strip has now become part of a recycling programme: its notes, trills, tremolos and glissandi cast reflections on the score of Riflesso sul tasto.