Marco Scolastra – A portrait of Chopin in words and music ‘Canons covered in flowers’

A concert dedicated to Maestro Fabiani,present in the hall, to thank him for the love and respect that he had shared with his student Marco Scolastra.

Reading from various sources including Chopin’s diary in which it was never in doubt that the soul of Chopin always belonged to Poland.
He had left his homeland as a teenager seeking recognition and inspiration in Paris which was the centre of European culture.
He never returned to Poland but he never forgot his roots which fill his music with nostalgia and the folklore of his homeland.
It was this nostalgia allied to the aristocratic atmosphere of the Parisian salons that make his music unique .Creating new art forms that like Liszt were to revolutionise the concept of the piano.
A piano that could now sing as eloquently as the greatest bel canto singers of the day.

It was fascinating to hear that the middle section of the Polonaise that opened the programme had been inspired by an aria from Rossini’s ‘Gazza Ladra’.A polonaise written by the 17 year old Chopin ‘Adieu a Guil.Kolberg’.It was played with scintillating virtuosity but it was the eloquence and beauty of the central episode that touched the core or should I say the ‘cuore’ of Chopin.
A heart that after Chopin’s early death was transported back to his homeland where it had always belonged.

This led so naturally to the nocturne op posth in C sharp minor with its unmistakable Chopinesque bel canto of such subtle aristocratic beauty.
It contrasted well with the Nocturne op 37 n.1 where the chorale central episode was played with religious calm and deep meditation.
The two waltzes from a later period showed the elegance and brilliance of the Parisian salons of the period.But even the middle episode of the A flat waltz op 69 n.1 showed the dance element that was always hidden inside Chopin’s soul.

The so called ‘minute waltz’ op 64 n.1 was played with great elegance and style and may well have been the two minute waltz as Marco brought such timeless beauty and shape to a piece often timed with a stopwatch by lesser artists.
‘Canons covered in flowers’ is what Schumann described Chopin’s mazurkas.Miniature tone poems where the feeling for his homeland were allowed space as he indulged his longing,creating what are considered to be his finest works.
A whole world captured in such a short space that in sixty gasps and tears show the absolute mastery of Chopin.
Marco played them with beauty but also with great strength that was of heartfelt sentiment but never sentimental.
For nine years Chopin’s name was linked to that of George Sand the pen name of Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin.
Her estate at Nohant was frequented by the most famous poets and artists of the day and it was on her suggestion that Chopin was persuaded to spend the winter in warmer climes in Majorca.
Unfortunately the humidity and confusion only exacerbated the tuberculosis that was to claim him at the age of only 39.
It was here that he wrote his Preludes op 28 in the damp room of the abandoned Monastery of Valldemossa.
Marco played the so called ‘raindrop’ prelude where the obsessive repetition in the middle section was obviously the continuous rain that greeted Chopin every day on this ‘magic’ island.
Marco brought great contrast between the fleeting glimpses of sunlight overshadowed by the continuous storms overhead.
It was though the sublime beauty of the Berceuse played with ravishing beauty and measure,where Chopin had found peace and could await only a few years later to join the celestial angels that were already showing him the way.

A past season of music at the Ghione Theatre

The ‘military’Polonaise was a fitting way to finish the concert with a refined call to ‘arms’ especially on the very morning when France is being called to the ‘urns’.
Some very robust playing with sumptuous bass notes that have been missing for too long from this hallowed hall.
An encore of one of Chopins Polish Songs -the second – dedicated to the Spring was played with golden streams of sound which added even more magic to a memorable morning in the company of Chopin.

Following on in the tradition of great music at the Ghione Theatre
Marco Scolastra with Maestro Fabiani
Andrea Tidona part of Ileana Ghione’s Theatre Company returned to the stage he knows so well – now well known for being part of the Montalbano films on the right Giulio the son of his companion Carla Cassola


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