Blog / Giovanni Sollima: Fecit Neap 17…

Giovanni Sollima: Fecit Neap 17…

Posted on 8 Jul 2016 by Cristina Maldonado

Giovanni Sollima. Photo credit: Francesco Ferla. 

FECIT NEAP. 17 . . .
Composed 2011

Born Palermo, 1962 

‘I see through sound, and so it’s like a flow. . . sound is liquid matter, it encompasses you, it covers you, disappears, it transfixes you. It can also be violent; it may be like a blade. It depends. But it’s never something you can grasp, because it embraces you, it takes you with it.’ Giovanni Sollima

The intrepid Sicilian cellist has long been interested in expanding the expressive and sonic possibilities of his instrument. ‘The cello,’ he once said, ‘both as an instrument (including its case . . .) that sounds, and as an object irresistibly fascinating for me, attracted my attention immediately.’

The past, in particular the great Italian cultural heritage, is present in much of what Sollima does today. ‘I feel the past as a magnetic centre that is sending out signals,’ he has said.

Giovanni Sollima. Photo credit: Francesco Ferla.

Sollima’s new work, Fecit Neap. 17. . . which means "made in Naples 1700 and something" mixes two deliberately contrasting moods.

The first mood, all pensive and evocative of the most sensual and cantabile Baroque tone colours, derives from 18th-century Naples, especially with its gorgeous principal theme above an ostinato bass.

The second mood is based on a rhythmic preoccupation – which reveals the mastery of the virtuoso of our own times – whilst demanding from the musicians playing historical instruments (expressly required) an almost inordinate amount of effort in the superimposition of irregular meters, in the manner of Stravinsky. Here then is a score which transmits Sollima’s energy.


MONTEVERDI (arr. strings) Lamento della ninfa
BERIO Sequenzas for Violin and Double Bass
LEO Cello Concerto No.3 in D minor
PAGANINI Introduction and Variations on ‘Dal tuo stellato soglio’ from Rossini’s Moses in Egypt
ROSSINI (arr. Eliodoro Sollima) ‘Une larme’ Theme and Variations for Cello and Strings
SCELSI C’est bien la nuit from Nuits