Paola Prestini

Barcarola is a one movement work for orchestra that I wrote when I was still a student at Juilliard. It was never professionally premiered but was done at Alice Tully Hall by the Juilliard Orchestra. The work has been revised substantially for this premiere, and is dedicated to Speranza Scappucci, a lifelong friend who I attended school with at Juilliard and is a fellow Italian!”

“The work is one movement and 15 minutes long. It is in the form of a wave inspired by the Venetian form and rocking rhythms of a barcarole. The work takes its poetic inspiration from Neruda’s Barcarola, which likens longing to the ocean and its tempests. The poem evokes noise: from the sound of wind, to a foghorn, to a beating heart. The image is ghostly and sensual. The sections of the poem highlight structural shifts, and once it rises to its highest peak of longing it resolves into a simple steady heartbeat.”

“I’m beyond thrilled to premiere Barcarola with the Orchestre Métropolitain. My work has long been influenced by the world of poetry, and this piece is no exception. It evokes the natural songs of a tempestuous ocean, resplendent with winds, foghorns, and beating hearts. The sensitivity of the Orchestre Métropolitain is an excellent match for this work, which was written during my formative years and edited for this premiere and, as such, holds a special place in my heart.”

© Paola Prestini