Roberto Prosseda a Phoenix hovers over Roma 3

La musica per un mondo nuovo

Il pianista Roberto Prosseda, già ospite di Roma Tre Orchestra in diverse occasioni, sarà il protagonista di questa serata al Teatro Palladium

Venerdì 11 novembre ore 20.30 Teatro Palladium
L. Dallapiccola: Piccolo concerto per Muriel Couvreux
M. Rubini: Phoenix per pianoforte e orchestra
A. Bruckner: Sinfonia n. 1 in do minore WAB 101 (trascrizione per orchestra da camera a cura di M. Rubini)
Roberto Prosseda, pianoforte
Roma Tre Orchestra
Massimiliano Caldi, direttore

In collaborazione con il Teatro Verdi di Pordenone, che ci ospiterà domani 10 novembre, questo programma prosegue il cammino del “Bruckner Project” che Roma Tre Orchestra dedica a trascrizioni delle sinfonie del celebre compositore austriaco, in vista dei 200 anni dalla nascita nel 2024.
La prima sinfonia è proposta in una trascrizione di Matteo Rubini che ne rielabora la scrittura per adattarla ad un organico strumentale più ristretto, sotto la sapiente guida di Massimiliano Caldi.
Rubini presenta inoltre un nuovo brano intitolato Phoenix, eseguito dal celebre pianista Roberto Prosseda. Versatile interprete attento alla musica moderna e contemporanea, Prosseda esegue anche il Piccolo concerto per Muriel Couvreux di Luigi Dallapiccola.

Roberto Prosseda with Muriel Couvreux

Questa partitura, dedicata alla figlioletta settenne di un’amica parigina, Lucienne Couvreux, nasce nei primi anni della seconda guerra mondiale, tra il 1939 e il 1941. Nulla traspare, in questa musica, della tragicità di quei giorni: la scrittura, ancora diatonica, ha la serenità che si conviene ad una musica scritta per una bambina. L’essenzialità delle frasi, la freschezza e la chiarezza degli impasti strumentali, il semplice dialogare tra il solista e la piccola orchestra sono le caratteristiche emergenti di questo lavoro, che pur presenta una tecnica canonica estremamente complessa. La prima esecuzione ebbe luogo al Teatro delle Arti di Roma il 1 maggio 1941 sotto la direzione di Fernando Previtali, solista l’autore stesso.Il curioso titolo di questa composizione porta il nome della dedicataria, figlia di un’amica parigina del compositore. Scritto tra il 1939 e il 1941, il brano ha ancora una scrittura diatonica (successivamente Dallapiccola sarebbe stato tra i primi italiani ad intraprendere la strada della dodecafonia). La prima esecuzione ebbe luogo presso il Teatro delle Arti di Roma il 1 maggio 1941, quando Parigi era ormai da quasi un anno sotto il giogo nazista.

Roberto Prosseda the ink still wet on the score

The rise of the Phoenix the eclectic Roberto Prosseda surprises us again as he hovers over the keyboard with a little known concerto by Dallapiccola and a world premiere of a concerto by Rubini.
The ink still wet on the page as Roberto flew in from Stuttgart and Israel where he has been performing the Gounod concerto for pedal piano and orchestra before arriving back home for this world premiere.
A work which had arrived only during the last month with Roberto mastering it inbetween rehearsals and plane journeys .He arrived back only a few days ago to rehearse in Pordenone where his equally astonishing colleague Maurizio Baglini organises an extraordinary musical season.Pordonone was actually the world premiere and Rome the consolidated second premiere.

Artistic director of Roma 3 Valerio Vicari

With the guardian angel of Roma 3 Valerio Vicari providing the orchestra that he has carefully formed and nurtured over the past 15 years he gave us the possibility to hear this concerto in the capitol.
Not an easy choice but then Valerio and Prof Pujia are intent on giving a platform not only to young musicians at the start of their career but also a platform for new music.
Even more surprising is that the score is also being published by Roma TrE-Press.

Maestro Rubini receiving applause from musicians and audience alike

A programme that together with these concertos also included Maestro Rubini’s transcription for chamber orchestra of Bruckner’s First Symphony WAB 101.
Anyone familiar with the mighty symphonic output of Bruckner would know that to reduce this symphonic mastery to a chamber ensemble is no mean feat.
It just shows the technical mastery of Maestro Rubini that we had already appreciated in his concerto.

Phoenix is a concerto for piano and orchestra in two movements and is prefaced by a very suggestive phrase from Dante’s ‘Inferno’:
‘che la fenice more e poi rinasce,quando al cinquecentesimo anno appressa erba ne’ biada in sua vita non pasce,ma sol d’incenso lacrima e d’amomo,e nardo son l’ultime fasce’ Inferno XX1V,107-111.
Like the Dallapiccola that preceded it this is a work in which the piano and orchestra create a world of chamber music proportions listening and working together to create a whole.
It was obvious that from the sinister bass comments from the piano in Phoenix that this was a work of darkness where the chiselled sounds of the piano in Dallapiccola were all lightness and purity.
Strange as this little known concerto was written in 1939 with the clouds of an imminent war hovering above!
They were played with a conviction and mastery that was remarkable and luckily I saw microphones so imagine it can be available to the vast public that it deserves.
Roberto’s advocacy of contemporary and unknown music is becoming leggendary.
I remember him as a young student from the school of Sergio Cafaro trying out his programmes at the nearby Ghione theatre before his competition successes.He even gave a programme of contemporary Italian composers that the teenage Roberto insisted he wanted to present without the score!

Goffredo Petrassi embraces his Circeo in the garden of Ileana Ghione who took this photo.

He made a CD of all the works of Petrassi that I was happy to place in the blind composers hands who was our neighbour during the summer months in San Felice Circeo.
Fou Ts’ong would often give masterclasses at the Ghione theatre and he was always overjoyed when Roberto could take part.’He can do everything I suggest immediately’exclaimed Ts’ong.

Maestro William Naboré founder of the Academy in Como and teacher of Roberto and Shunta Morimoto,new piano genius making his mark at only 17.

It was only a year or two later that he was accepted to the International Piano Academy on Lake Como where he was able to perfect his playing under Fou Ts’ong and William Nabore.

Roberto Prosseda introducing the programme

Not only an advocate of contemporary music but he also discovers in the musical archives music of the past that has been left on dusty shelves completely overlooked by less inquisitive eyes.
I have heard him in London play the completely overlooked pedal piano and give a remarkable performance of Gounod’s long forgotten concerto and as encore pieces written especially for this instrument by Schumann.

The conductor with the LPO was Oleg Caetani ,the son of Igor Markevich.Caetani being the noble family owning much of the region of Latina where Roberto was born.
He has also uncovered so many forgotten works by the prodigious Mendelssohn and has recorded what might be considered the most complete survey of his music.
Fragments of a third concerto were pieced together by his colleague Maestro Buffalini,husband of Luisa Prayer also from the school of Sergio Cafaro ,and the work was played in London with the then little known Yannick Nezet – Seguin ( now the famous successor of Muti in Philadelphia ) and went on to record it with Riccardo Chailly.
Not content with all this performing activity he is also to be found publishing books on piano technique and running festivals such as Cremona Musica.

He also has one of the most important classes in Rovigo Conservatory and also has an important piano duo with his wife Alessandra Maria Ammara .

And last but not least a happy family man of three children who will have much to live up to in the future !

He is dashing off after this concert to be the only pianist jury member for the Premio Venezia in Venice at La Fenice ……the Phoenix ……coincidence or is it written on the cards!

Maestro Rubini thanking Roberto Prosseda at the end of his performance of the Phoenix Concerto


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