Riflesso sull'incontro


for eight players (2019)
15 minutes | no.44

Riflesso sull'incontro (‘reflection on the intersection/meeting/match’) is part of the Riflessi series, which consists exclusively of companion pieces: each Riflesso explores the same exceptional scoring of a classic from the last century. Riflesso sull'incontro is a companion piece to Octandre, Edgard Varèse’s legendary composition from 1923. It is scored for flute, oboe, bass clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone and double bass.

The number hinted at in Varèse’s title plays a crucial role in the construction of the mirroring Riflesso. There are eight short sections in total, the first four of which, as well as the final one, being separated by a solo appearance of one of the ensemble members. Each passage features its own central pitch, taken from the composer's name: E-D-G-A-[r]-D-[v]-A-[r]-E-S-[e], bearing in mind that in German musical nomenclature the letter S stands for an E-flat.

The same string of pitches occasionally appears as a tuneful gesture in the flute. Apart from that though, we predominantly hear non-melodic textures, such as broken chords, pulsating patterns, crippled repetitions, while their dynamics swell and ebb vigorously. Cunningly camouflaged by adjacent eight-part harmonies, brief snippets of Octandre flash by: familiar musical objects that are spiritually transfigured, while concealed by monochrome drapery, reminiscent of the way Christo wrapped the Pont Neuf in Paris or the Reichstag in Berlin.


flute, oboe, bass clarinet, bassoon
horn, trumpet in B-flat, trombone
double bass
(preferably without conductor)

commissioned by

November Music

written for

Ensemble Musikfabrik

composed with financial support from

Performing Arts Fund NL

dedicated to

Geoffrey Hannan


6 November 2021
November Music
Ensemble Musikfabrik


Score Excerpts