Archive for June, 2012

Foregrounds and backgrounds V

In Rossini’s serious and semiserious repertoire, the “external world” enters in the characters places towards the framing imposed by vestibule’s arches and by French-windows in ground-floor rooms, delimiting woods (Matilde di Shabran), city’s pitoresque sides, or home’s secluded corners (Bianca e Falliero), streets and courts (Gazza Ladra). Beyond porches, halls, atriums, cloisters described by Felice Romani’s in Bellini’s operas librettos it appears a strong number of backgrounds: cities, (Agrigento in Bianca e Fernando),1 natural elements and building sides, (the drawbridge and the waterfall in Il Pirata,2), the lake and the cloistre in La Straniera,3 the private apartaments in Capuleti e Montecchi. They all underline the contrast between the nature and the human presence. In I Puritani, composed by Bellini with Carlo Pepoli as librettist, the attention payed towards the outside world is stressed in every scene, with the insistent presence of the windows, towards which the landascape can be seen and the outside sounds can be heard. For example: the Puritains preying, Arturo’s arrival, announced by chorus and by the band hided among the wings (II scene). In the two following sets, windows frame the camp and the fortifications (I and II act); in the last scene (III act), Elvira appears beyond the porche glass-window. In some librettos used by Donizetti too, doors and windows delimited the part of world to show: the inner gardens, city’s vew (London in Roberto Devereux)4, others buildings (Maria di Rohan,5 Gemma di Vergy), the road (Linda di Chamounix),6 wild places (Lucia di Lammermoor).
The interpretation and the reading of the world in italian XIX Century’s peninsula, is based also on the backgrounds descriptions in set captions of the operas, products of a cultural mass genre in that age. Thus, from some apparently incidental details we can understand the urban and rural landascape perception, the role awarded to water places (sea, lakes, rivers), or to vegetables world in that imaginary.

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Yoshikawa al Recital di Nuvolera

Il 22 giugno 21:00 Takahiro Yoshikawa terrà un recital presso la Villa Bianco Speroni – Nuvolera (BS)
Rassegna Musicale “Un Mattone per la Casa della Musica”
Ingresso gratuito
Beethoven: Sonata per pianoforte Op. 27-2 “Al chiaro di luna”
Chopin: Andante spianato e grande polacca brillante Op. 22
Liszt: Parafrasi di Rigoletto, Sogno d’amore No. 3, Mephisto Walzer No. 1

Fotografia di Massimo Volta


Yoshikawa alla Radio NHK

21 Giugno 2012 dalle ore 19.30 alle ore 21.10 andrà in onda “Best of classic” che trasmetterà l’intero recital eseguito a Kyoto il 19/05/2011 da Takahiro Yoshikawa.

Franz Liszt: From Année de pèlerinage: Troisième année S. 163:
Aux cyprès de la Villa d’Este I Threnodie
Aux cyprès de la Villa d’Este II Threnodie
Les jeux d’eaux à la Villa d’Este

Maurice Ravel: Gaspard de la Nuit

Igor Stravinsky: Trois mouvements de Pétrouchka

Francis Poulenc: Les soirées de Nazelles

Fotografa di Fiorenza Stefani


Foregrounds and backgrounds

The action pressed in domestic walls perimeter without description of the landscape beyond the windows, is a characteristic which can be particularly discoverable in italian XIX Century “opera buffa”. At dramaturgic level, the interest toward the forestage “hinc et nunc” predominates, because there fights, debates, reconciliations inside the house’s and family’s borders are set. The landscape’s presence would shift and lead the spectator attention outside, a position in this case, incidental for the plot and the problems posed and proposed by it.
Still, at conceptual level, this choice makes jet more sensational the perception of acoustic stratification, of the “full” and “void” concerning singers and instrumentalists presences created in the full score. We can think to Rossini’s “crescendo”, by which the composer fills the set devoid of field of view depth, delimited by walls and ceiling, without outlets, so that the sound resonates and thunders. Thus the room saturates until to “explosion”.
Seville is out of view beside the windows of Bartolo’s house in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia, in the set captions of La Cenerentola, landscape visible from the windows is omitted. The same situation is discoverable in Donizetti’s opera comica librettos.
Vice versa, in tragic repertoire, the details lack in backstage, underline a constrictive space, a cage-space. The claustrophobic world where the Ashton family live sealed, in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor is opposed to wild, stürmisch dimension, used in the scene where Edgard acts (excepted the Finale II, when he becomes the disagreeable host in his enemies salon).
From Violetta’s living room and bedroom windows, just like in Flora Gallery’s, the description of landscape is excluded, Paris views are absent. The city is evoked only in the dialogues. Dying Violetta wants to see the day light and she orders Annina to open the windows (“Da’ accesso a un po’ di luce”), therefore her last life mouthfuls, with the Carnival sounds, invading her bedroom silence. Similarly, Philip II private room in Verdi’s Don Carlos received the rising light of the dawn, but does not offer suggestions concerning landscape. Arrigo Boito, in set captions of Verdi’s Otello IV act, “forgets” to describe windows in Desdemona’s bedroom.
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