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Gwyn Pritchard: Forse mi stai chiamando


Forse mi stai chiamando was commissioned in 1997 by the Italian poetess and novelist Pinuccia Amodei. An extract from the musical setting is included in the published edition of Amodei’s extended cycle of poems entitled Il Deserto Definito (The Desert Defined) from which the text is drawn. The publication won the city of Florence prize Fiorino d'Oro in 1997. The text is as follows:


Forse mi stai chiamando

ma non sempre

il filo dell’intesa silenziosa

basta a colmare la preziosa angoscia

che preme dentro il corpo

inutilmente i nostri seni caldi

attendono carezze conosciute

e inutilmente il tuo tacere

č attesa fragile


amore senza tempo


A poetic translation would need also to be a rather loose one, but a relatively strict translation reads:


Perhaps you are calling me

but the thread of silent connection

is not always enough

to calm the precious anguish

that presses within the body.


Uselessly our warm breasts

await familiar caresses

and uselessly your silence

is fragile waiting

a game

timeless love


The musical setting reflects the yearning character of the text, and the listener is not expected to ‘understand’ the poem semantically, by following the words and the syntax. The text is treated more as a source of individual sounds, many of which are sustainable consonants (such as m or l) which are assembled into a highly ornamented vocal line; this is both underpinned and counterpointed by colouristic writing for the cello.  


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