Focus Baudelaire .The Filarmonica at the Teatro Argentina Rome

Focus Baudelaire the Filarmonica at Teatro Argentina in Rome
Focus Baudelaire at Teatro Argentina with Roberto Prosseda and Nicola Muschitiello
The Teatro Argentina where all the greatest musical events used to take place.
Rossini had the first performance of the Barber of Seville here and the Accademia di S.Cecilia had all their important concerts with conductors like Toscanini and Furtwangler here after Mussolini had pulled down the famous Augusteo in 1936…/
Not much music has been heard here since the move of S.Cecilia to the bigger Via della Conciliazione and now of course to its wonderful new Renzo Piano Complex at the Parco della Musica.

                            Francesca Benedetti and Company of Antigone
So it was good to see a Steinway “D” from the studio of Alfonsi on stage having only a few hours earlier followed Sofocles’ Antigone for the Teatro di Rome,whose home it is these days, with the insuperable veteran actressIsadora Duncan Francesca Benedetti.
The Filarmonica Romana directed by Matteo D’Amico have had the good idea to bring back music into this hallowed theatre with a programme of concerts with artists such as Sol Gabetta,Khatia Buniatishvili and Maxim Vengerov .
Tonight it was the second in a series of five concerts of poetry and music under the title of Focus Baudelaire.
A reading of the original 1857 edition of I Fiori del Male “Le fleurs du mal” in the new italian translation of the renowned poet Nicola Muschitiello.
A born poet of the “voice of truth” as described by Italo Calvino .
“A unique personality the last of the real bohemians on the Italian literary scene” .
It was Nicola Muschitiello who recited the poetry of Baudelaire in this theatre following in the shadow of the greatest Italian actors who have all trodden these sacred boards.

                                          Nicola Muschitiello
The music chosen was that which Baudelaire himself might have heard in 1857.
Five recital programmes dedicated to the music of Beethoven,Chopin ,Liszt and Wagner in the magnificent hands of Roberto Prosseda .
A finely tuned instrument by that magician of the keyboard Mauro Buccitti gave Roberto every opportunity to fill this hallowed hall with music by Liszt.
Nuages gris that strangely disturbing piece where Liszt was already looking into the future .
The beautiful Lento placido that is the third consolation in D flat was followed by two works from the Annees de Pelerinage :Il penseroso and Vallee d’Obermann.
These two pieces from the period that Liszt eloped to Switzerland with the Countess D’Agoult,the mother of his three children .
He was exiled from Paris Salons where he had been the undisputed star up until the scandal of eloping with a married woman.
Thalberg filled that role until the famous duel between them organised by the Princess Belgioioso who diplomatically declared that Thalberg was the greatest pianist in the world but Liszt was unique.
Liszt was,by the way, also one of her lovers together with Heine and others .
Harmonies du soir that Baudelaire actually refers too was a fitting end to some very fine expressive playing.
Roberto Prosseda was raised in the school of real musicians Cafaro/Martinelli just a stones throw from the Ghione theatre where he gave numerous recitals during his student days.
I remember the many recitals before going to play with great success in International Competitions when he was already studying at the famous International Piano Academy in Como with William Grant Nabore.
Fou Ts’ong was always delighted when Roberto could take part in the many masterclasses that were so much part of the Ghione Theatre in his formative days.
Born in Latina he had been raised and very much influenced by the Campus Musicale di Latina of Riccardo Cerocchi .
Since the time of Menuhin and Szigeti there have been summer masterclasses in Sermoneta by some of the most renowned musicians of our day.
Fabrizio von Arx,the violinist and Roberto were very much creatures of the Campus and their first duo recital was of course at the Ghione Theatre .
As was Cafaro’s surprise birthday concert with Roberto and Francesco Libetta Profilo Falso in one of Cafaro’s very amusing compositions for piano duo.
It was nice to see in the Feltrinelli book shop opposite the theatre the new CD’s of his Mozart Sonata series together with a DVD at the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza of the Studies for Pedal piano by Alkan.
Regularly on the radio and very much in the forefront of the musical scene with not only CD’s but many books on piano technique and music appreciation to his name.
A real ” romantic man” multifaceted musician of extraordinary capacity.
A piano duo with his wife Alessandra Ammara whom he met in Como and now with many children to their name I just wish we could have heard a more equal distribution of piano and poetry than we were treated to tonight.
In this theatre of almost perfect acoustic the microphone really has no place .
The greatest actors have regaled us with their voice formed by a perfect diaphram that could allow them to say “I love you” arriving with the same intensity to the first row as it would to the last.
A poetry recital by Giorgio Albertazzi just a few years ago springs to mind.
The art of the real actor who does not hide himself behind a microphone is unfortunately being lost in this mechanical age in which we live.
I was shown around La Fenice Theatre in Venice just before the great fire that gutted it.
I was told that the Venetians had filled the earth under the orchestral pit with one and a half meters of glass because they knew that this would reflect the sound into the Royal box in the wonderful horseshoe shape of the Italian Opera Houses.
Today of course we have acoustically assisted sound which means microphones and we are thus reliant on artificial sound and the personal taste of someone to decide what we should hear!
Unfortunately this very learned literary professor had no place on the stage with a radio microphone and his overlong whisperings did not allow us to appreciate fully his very considerable literary skills.
A more equal distribution of music and poetry might have sent us all home much more fulfilled with an evening dedicated to the remarkable poetry of Baudelaire and even more of the genial premonitions of Liszt .


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