What can be considered an “Italian Sound”? Does it come from the precious old Italian string instruments or from the long tradition of Opera and Belcanto that made Italian music famous in the world?
The first part of the program could be titled “Musical Minimalism in Italy: Three Centuries Later”. Musical Minimalism is an important expressive movement in the music of the second half of the 1900s: born in the United States, its path, as opposed to the evolution of the European musical schools (from the serial school of Vienna to the experimentalism with electronic music, both aleatory and concrete, developed by the schools of Darmstadt and Paris) follows an extreme simplification of the structure of the execution methods.
Ezio Bosso is a disciple of Philip Glass (great exponent of the minimalist movement), Giovanni Sollima’s music is largely based on the elements proper of the Minimalism and Antonio Vivaldi’s compositions, although belonging to a previous time period (which obviously can’t be described as “minimalistic”), have already many language characteristics typical of this movement. Besides this, all three are Italian composers and instrumentalists who know string instruments perfectly, can fully exploit their technical and expressive possibilities and have in common a common “sound”, characterized by a strong sentimental and pathetic (in the sense of Pathos) component, which is different from the American Minimalism, more mathematical and objective.
In the second half Umberto joins the orchestra, as cello Concertmaster, for the Elegy for strings “Crisantemi” by Giacomo Puccini and the transcription for string orchestra of Giuseppe Verdi’s String Quartet. Both are very rare examples of instrumental music in an almost exclusively vocal and operatic production and both pieces borrow and lend musical material from famous Operas by the two composers, “Manon Lescaut” and “Aida”: the Italian sound par excellence.
G. Sollima: Hell 1 (from “Music for the Divine Comedy”)
A. Vivaldi: Concerto for cello and orchestra in B minor RV 424
E. Bosso: Sea Prayer, for cello and strings
G. Puccini: Crisantemi
G. Verdi: String Quartet (arr. for string orchestra)