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S. N. Kassos: Notes for Art Core Concert (June 26th, 2013) | cymVolon

S. N. Kassos: Notes for Art Core Concert (June 26th, 2013)


Programme Notes (for Art Core Concert of June 26th) by composer S. N. Kassos.

Those songs that are about to be executed for the first time in public at the Art Core Concert of June 26th were composed as separate parts that together form a unity.

Regarding Lyrics

The lyrics are written as highlights of certain emotions or images that are directly linked to the story. Even though many ideas are been referred in the short reading, through the lyrics, more of the story is being reveled, mostly with more sentiment or in the form of esoteric impressions.

Regarding Composition


In most pieces the same idea has been applied. The need for some simpler form that would remain intriguing was satisfied. There was a necessity for simple to hear songs, which would not mess up a lot the basic motif or motives of each piece, so that the average listener could follow the development and not be distracted by the complex embellishment. At the same time, the development should employ more creative and original methods of composition so that to the usual classic forms could be replaced.


The basis for all songs is a trio (piano, violin and cello) and is embellished with the use of flute. Here the more unique role seems to be played by the violin. Usually a more melodic instrument, here you will hear it standing out as a rhythmical aspect giving out an impression, not unlike that of a guitar or a mandolin. By employing double stops and repetitive bow strokes sometimes near the bridge and others at col lengno, the more lyrical role is reserved for the sweet sounds of the piano and of course the singers. The outcome is a more airy rhythmic sound that seems to float in the between registers, a more sweet and mystical sound from the down to earth cello and the watery piano hammers.

This technique if also in use at “Cantiga” with the addition of a more stressed bow in both violin and cello playing for a more “baroque” or “medieval” sound. At this same piece, cello does get a more rhythmic role siding the violin.


Particular interest is to be given to the Cantiga variation. The principal melody of this piece comes from a set of songs called “Cantiga”. Those are medieval monophonic songs, characteristic of the Galician-Portuguese lyric. Over 400 extant cantigas come from the Cantigas de Santa Maria, narrative songs about miracles or hymns in praise of the Holy Virgin. Here is a variation of Cantiga 100 “Santa Maria Strela do dia”, set to a new set of lyrics regarding a poem of creation. For the variation some traditional aspects were applied as the use of medieval drone theory, but also some other medieval techniques such as organum were used freely up to some romantic counterpoint in certain times.

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