Che nulla stringo, e tutto il mondo abbraccio

Instrumentation: string quartet
Duration: 4 minutes
Year of composition: 2022

Programme note

In the two years prior to writing Che nulla stringo, e tutto il mondo abbraccio, I developed a passion for the music of the early Italian renaissance. Mainly composers like Willaert, Josquin and Gabrieli sparked
my interest. Starting in a time in which there was very little polyphonic music, it seems like these composers worked together, each adding their small contribution building a great repertoire. I like to think of it like a collective masterpiece, and the quality is very apparent: listening to the music of these composers, so simple yet perfectly executed, gives me a great feeling of comfort and ease.

What I find fascinating is that while these composers wrote such sweet and heavenly music, the living conditions were actually quite poor. I think the music doesn’t reflect the life at the time very well, but I can also
imagine that people would crave this music: maybe it would lift them from their lives into a beautiful place for a brief moment?

In modern life, I feel that this music can still bring us a similar effect. That is why, in this piece, I want to add my small contribution to this repertoire, continuing on the work of the early renaissance composers with some help of two of my biggest musical influences from France.

I hope Che nulla stringo, e tutto il mondo abbraccio can bring some relief and comfort, like a warm hug. At least for me it did when I was lost and needed it: holding on to nothing (but the music), and embracing the whole world, derived from a part of a madrigal text by Orazio Vecchi:

Io volo sopra il cielo, e in terra giaccio
E in tal pensiero
Io mi disperso
Che nulla stringo, e tutto il mondo abbraccio.


Commission info

Che nulla stringo, e tutto il mondo abbraccio was commissioned by the Dostojevski Kwartet