Alberto Colla was born in Alessandria, Italy, in 1968. He graduated in composition with C. Mosso and R. Piacentini. He pursued his studies in composition with Azio Corghi at the Academy of “Santa Cecilia” in Rome where he won the SIAE scholarship for the best degree of the year. Among young Italian composers, Colla has received the most prizes. He won first prizes in the following competitions: “G. Verdi” in Parma, “Abu Ghazaleh” in Paris, “The Dimitris Mitropoulos” in Athens, “BMW – Musica Viva” in München, “E. Grieg” in Oslo, “2 Agosto” in Bologna with the Special Mention by the President of the Italian Republic, “C. Gesualdo da Venosa” in Potenza, “M. Pittaluga” in Alessandria, “F. Margola” in Brescia. He has also been awarded an Honourable Mention at the Molinari Quartet’s First International Competition for Composition.
His compositions were selected to be performed in major festivals. They have been recorded for radio and television broacasts by major orchestras all over Europe, Israel, and the U.S.A., and are recorded on CD in Austria and Japan.
His lyric opera “Il processo” was performed during the Lyric Season 2001-2002 of the Teatro alla Scala of Milan and of the Theatre “R. Valli” in Reggio Emilia.
Luciano Berio commissioned him a new composition for chorus and large symphony orchestra for the inauguration, in 2002, of the new Auditorium by Renzo Piano in Rome.
In 2002 – 2003 his composition “Le rovine di Palmira” will be played in Florence and in Los Angeles during the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra’s season, conducted by Roberto Abbado.
Alberto Colla concentrated his musical research in particular on polystylism and on symbolism in intervals, themes and gestures. He worked out orchestration like a summa of different techniques, bordering on quotation, transcription, parody and evocation. He examined the “nostalgia” of the past’s musical ideas (working on material by Baldassare Galuppi, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt, Fryderyk Chopin, Nikolaj Rimskij-Korsakov, Edvard Grieg, Kurt Weill, Robert Russell Bennett, Igor Stravinsky, etc.). He also studied how to elaborate monodic sacred European music, extra-European musical technique (Egypt, Middle East, Mesopotamia, Indonesia) and ethnologic musical technique (Central Africa, Amazonia).
He teaches composition at the “Corso di Alto Perfezionamento in Composizione” in the International Advanced Academy of Music “L. Perosi” in Biella – Italy. His music is published by Universal Edition in Wien, BMG Ricordi and Sonzogno in Milan.
My “Quartetto in memoria di Sergej Prokofiev” is a way to pay homage to the great Russian composer because of the fiftieth anniversary of his death in 2003.
For this reason, the first movement of my work begins with a theme that looks like the first theme of the first string quartet in B minor op. 50 by Prokofiev. This beginning theme evolves with great naturalness to a very far direction to the Prokofiev’s quartet. I think that in music quotations, like homage, may be the starting point of an evolutionistic composition that can bring to unexpected results. I can define this way of composing like a kind of contextual poly-stylism.
The monster, in fancy, is often made by combining heterogeneous parts of different animals. In the same way, in art, with the poly-stylism, the fusion of different styles and techniques historically and geographically irreconcilable, may be very natural. But for me, the polymorphism in music (constructed by using quotations and different styles) is not a pure Promethean creation, just tragic and monstrous. In fact, the polymorphism in music arises from aesthetic and expressive needs and manifests itself both in terms of time and place, thus providing a link to past generations and to our contemporaries all over the globe.
The temporal approaches are inside the generational compendium. It is the possibility to know, to work out and to remind the past generations composer’s experiences.
The geographic approaches, on the other hand, arise from the intercultural communication. Today, in fact, the intercultural communication is obvious, rich and for me indispensable because of a more and more global view of the world.
This quartet is in two movements to be played without interruption. The first movement is Allegro and the second is an intimate and melancholic Largo.