Italian Suite for 2 pianos by Christopher Norton
Christopher Norton is well-known throughout the world for his compositions for piano, particularly the Microjazz series, published by Boosey & Hawkes, and Connections for Piano, published by CN Connections Music. His music is popular with piano students as well as professional performers, because he writes well for the piano, has a subtle blend of jazz, pop and classical influences and has a distinctive style of writing that appeals to a wide range of audiences.
The Italian Suite for 2 Pianos was written for Duo Pianistico Nicoletta & Angela Feola, Italian sisters from Bergamo who play a wide and varied repertoire to audiences all over Europe. The suite has 4 movements and is a Fantasia, loosely based on four different segments of a single day.
1. Puro Piacere (Pure Pleasure) captures that segment of the day when work is finished, colleagues meet together, conversations are excited and boisterous, perhaps a few drinks are imbibed and the desire to enlarge on the successes of the day is hard to resist.
2. Il Dubbio (The Time of Doubt) describes that period where one is once more alone, the celebrations of the day are over, friends have departed and the giddiness of self-aggrandization (and the effects of a little bubbly) has faded. It is then that self-doubt begins to rise as fatigue and uncertainty flood the body and brain. Negative feelings and melancholia are suggested by the main theme, which is surrounded by more and more ornate elements, suggesting confused and random thoughts.
3. L’Umore Pesante Si Solleva (The Heavy Mood Lifts) The third segment represents the waking period after a restless night. The feeling of heaviness, even uselessness, is beginning to dissipate, but the mood is still sombre. The music gradually changes from minor to major. The sun has begun to pierce the clouds, and, eventually, to drive out the negativity of the night.
4. La Fiducia Viene Ripristinata (Confidence is Restored) The final segment of the suite is represented by a Tarantelle, an extrovert and upbeat piece, suggesting a more positive attitude is being generated in order to ‘get one through the day’ and to create energy to face the next 24 hours in a life.
The Suite was first performed by Angela Turner and Suzanna Hlinka at the 4MBS Festival of Classics, Brisbane, Australia on 18 June 2017.