The winner of the 3rd International Contest of Sacred Music Composition Pope Benedict XVI.
This year' edition was dedicated to the composer Pietro Mascagni in his 70th death anniversary,.
The task was to compose a Pater Noster for soprano and string quintet ( 2 vl., vla., vc., cb.), the same used by Mascagni for his Pater Noster, written in 1880.
"Composing a Pater Noster is not an easy task. The challenge is to maintain its spirit, yet not betraying its simplicity. It requires a subtle inspiration, almost an impulsive drive. It is the first prayer usually learnt by children, when instinct is still predominant. This element of instinct remains, even as we grow and learn to meditate. That was how I started to compose it: from my soul, trying it back to the rational mind. The starting point is the human voice, intended as part of a whole, but also as something beyond the whole. In the first case it is renaissance polyphony, in the second a Gregorian chant. The composition opens with a polyphonic string introduction: it is basically a brief motet. A first voice solo follows, a Gregorian reminiscent melisma with the lyrics of the Pater Noster. It's a voice coming from the centre of the Earth, responding to the sky. A prayer and an annunciation at the same time. [...] The voice maintains its intimacy, the only real outburst is the final plea libera nos a malo: a very humble and human request. Other than that, the voice is not the protagonist, but merely a mouthpiece. It aims to sing for us all, therefore it has to retain its humility". Pietro Magnani
About the Winner/Composer
Pietro Magnani, 1994. His passion for music started when he was 10. He studied violin first, then composition. At 14, he joins the composition class at the Parma Conservatory of Music Arrigo Boito, where he still studies now. (8th year, M. Luca Tessadrelli). He subsequently developed interest in ancient polyphony and Gregorian chants. He writes for FarCoro, a music magazine, and studies Literature at University of Bologna. He won several composition awards, including the 1st Competition for Sacred Music Composition David Maria Turoldo, 2012, and 2 International Composition Awards Ilaria Rambaldi, 2014.