Eco di un tempo perduto (1997) by Massimo Lauricella
for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano
2001 Earplay Donald Aird Composers Competition winner

Eco di un tempo perduto for flute, clarinet, piano, violin, and cello was composed in memory of Arnold Schoenberg. The first thing that came to mind when I decided to compose a new work dedicated to Arnold Schoenberg was to start with a series of twelve tones based on the letters of Schoenberg's name (following the system of J.S.Bach: A=la, B=si-flat, etc.). I tried it, but I did not get the results I was looking for. The letters of Arnold Schoenberg's name are not at all suitable for generating a twelve-tone series; in fact, his name only generated a seven-note series: A, D, C, H (B-natural), B (B-flat), E, and G. From this came a new idea.

Since it was not possible to create the twelve-tone series I wanted, I discovered the possiblity of creating two groups of notes: the ones from Schoenberg's name, and then the remaining pitches of the chromatic scale (7+5). At this point, all 12 tones of the chromatic scale are present, not in series, but rather two; thus creating two different harmonies.

The work grows in a crescendo fight between the piano and the other four instruments that, starting from the seven notes of Schoenberg's name, come to quarrel around these two harmonic blocs.

— M. L.    

[from program for February 4, 2002 concert]