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music and silence - Conservatorio di Musica Arrigo Boito

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music and silence - Conservatorio di Musica Arrigo Boito
CONSERVATORIO DI MUSICA ARRIGO BOITO
PARMA
LABRETMUS
LABORATORY ON MUSICAL RHETORIC
MUSIC AND SILENCE
"Silence is not acoustic. It is a state of the mind, a turning around."
John Cage
A LITTLE HOME THEATRE
Sounds and Silences from Nature and Love in the Early XVIII Century in Italy
Concert
Auditorium del Carmine
Thursday, March 26, 2015, h 20.30
Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725), Ombre tacite e sole
Letizia Egaddi, Mezzosoprano
Niccolò Porpora (1686-1766), Il ritiro
Federica Cacciatore, Mezzosoprano
Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741), Vengo a voi, luci adorate
Cui Jinji, Soprano
Niccolò Porpora, Credimi pur, che t’amo
Nao Yokomae, Soprano
Nastasia Dugardin and Enora Fondain, Violins
Helinä Nissi, Viola
Mathilda Longué, Cello
Shagan Grolier, Double-Bass
Julien Vergères, Baroque Guitar
Riccardo Mascia, Harpsichord and Conductor
Instrumentalists from the Haute Ecole de Musique de Lausanne-Sion-Fribourg, Site de Sion.
Singers from Bachelor and Master Level, Conservatorio di Musica Arrigo Boito, Parma.
Here are four fragments of melodramas with characters who live for just one scene, coming from
nothing, returning to nothing, but living intensely. The Italian Baroque Cantata is a concentrated
mix of theatre and rhetoric of passion, few words and notes are needed to make this little domestic
theatre come to life. It is as if every piece opens a new window on one aspect of human life: while
the singer tells the story, the orchestra creates the environment around them with sounds and
silences.
Ombre tacite e sole (Silent and lonely shadows) is, already from the first verse, the song of silence:
the character attempts broken sentences, asks questions suspended in a vacuum, ventures into a
tortuous recitative, while the musicians give life to a hostile Nature, populated by eerie sounds,
ferocious animal cries and equally distressing silences.
Il ritiro (The withdrawal) is instead the song of friendly and welcoming Nature, far from the
worries of city life, without envy, competition, hypocrisy. Here is no place for silence: indeed, the
instruments fill every empty space, creating counterpoints as in an interplay of mirrors. And the
pastoral finale is a triumph of serenity.
Our little domestic theater also opens two windows on love. Vengo a voi, luci adorate (I come to
you, beloved lights) is about an ecstasy of love but loaded with tension: the singer launches
acrobatic coloraturas in the search for an unattainable object, only to discover that nothing, not even
being reciprocated, can extinguish the anxiety of love. In this situation, the orchestra cannot be
silent even for a single moment, indeed, in the final aria the singer is enveloped in an obsessive
syncopated pedal and nervous drawings that the rhetoric associates with the image of the fire that
devours
lovers.
Credimi pur che t’amo (Believe me, I love you) is instead the song of joyful and problem free love.
Here a woman, struggling with an over jealous lover, teases her companion: she will love him with
a constant love, as long as he is not too insistent and rude. And, while the orchestra dances a joyous
jig, she invites him to a silence full of sensual expectation, with which it seems right to conclude the
evening: «Taci, non favellar, ché più mi piaci” («Quiet, do not talk, for I like you more»).
Riccardo Mascia
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