I recently received an amazing email from a young reader named Alessandro, who is 11 years old, a violinist, and a composer. He shared with me a video, the premiere of a quartet he wrote for flute, clarinet, cello, and viola. The piece is called “The Clockmaker, the Hotel Maid, and the Italian Violinist.”
From the composer’s notes:
The inspiration for this piece came to me from a book I recently read, “The Clockwork Three” by Matthew J. Kirby…
At the beginning they all live in gloomy situations, as you can hear at the start of the piece, a sad theme. They each try to escape and make their life better: a faster theme represents their attempts to escape. However, every time the bad guys win, and the sad melody comes back. At some point the 3 kids meet, and I’ve merged previous themes together to represent that important event.
They try to escape together, the escape theme comes back with instruments playing new motives, and we get into the Presto part, the final fight, where the kids defeat the bad guys. The Italian violinist can now return back to Italy, and the Presto becomes a tarantella, a Southern Italian dance. Finally there is a coda, where the escape theme becomes Allegro Vivace, and everybody lives happy ever after.
That alone left me a little speechless. It’s a truly magical thing to think that my story inspired someone else’s art and creativity. As happens with some premieres, the performance had a slight hiccup partway through where the flutist seems to have forgotten the rest of the score. But you can still get a sense of the piece when the music is replaced by a synthesized sound for the last part. And be sure to watch to the end, where Alessandro stands up on the front row and takes his bow.
Okay, silence all cellphones, please. Without further ado, I present to you Alessandro’s “Quartet in F-sharp Minor.”
Isn’t that awesome? I have to say, he really captured the spirit of the book. I hear Giuseppe in those notes, and Frederick, and Hannah, and even perhaps Stephano’s low growl. I’m told the composer is currently working on Giuseppe’s “canzone” for solo violin and full orchestra. I cannot wait to hear it.
Bravo, Alessandro! Bravo!