The Preludio a un altro giorno
was written in 1952 and is one of Pizzetti’s last purely orchestral works. The scoring was slightly revised after the first performance, but the work remains arguably the most striking of Pizzetti’s later orchestral pieces, a work of tragic character and expression. Although no programme is appended to the score, there can be little doubt that the composition had extramusical impetus at some point in its creation. It is in G minor and opens with a deeply serious theme in measured tread, Andante largo, non calmo, in quiet but heavy string octaves. The oboe answers with a typically Pizzettian theme, a florid lament yet one which remains true to the tonality, and it is these two main ideas which inform the entire work. Indeed, in some ways this is the most genuinely symphonic music of this collection, for it can be shown that all of the thematic material is derived in one way or another from either of these ideas. One of the more striking aspects of this score is Pizzetti’s orchestral mastery—that of breaking the orchestra down into many-layered sections and rebuilding it, as it were, into new conjunctions.
The Preludio a un altro giorno is a simple tripartite structure, a crescendo–diminuendo, with a final, almost defiant, open fifth, fortissimo. Yet such a plain description of the work’s outline does no justice to the genuinely heroic and ultimately positive message from the seventy-two-year-old composer.
from notes by Robert Matthew-Walker © 1999