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Siete qui: Home Festival Festival 2010 ‘Jokes’ around the world
‘Jokes’ around the world PDF Print E-mail
It is particularly intriguing to ask whether there could correspond to a geographical area and to the cultures which have incarnated it a system of artistic values which, though transforming itself in time, would not betray any fundamental assumptions. In a more straightforward manner: does there exist an authentic music connected to the territory?
The territory of the Quintetto Bislacco (the Eccentric Quintet) consists in music without borders, an infinite trip among the possible worlds, cultures, styles, traditions, contaminated by irreverent gags, whether musical or not, keeping listeners constantly attentive and curious, with their ears stretched out to the sound and to the joy of listening.
It all started with a Polka by Johann Strauss jr. (1825-1899), an Austrian composer who had to study music secretly away from his father Johann Strauss who wished him to become a banker in Vienna. The cunning youth started studying the fiddle with the first violin of his father’s orchestra and his father, strangely enough, found out all and after a furious quarrel dashed his violin to the ground reducing it to smithereens. From Austria to Germany, the fatherland of the greatest composer in the solar system musical history, namely the most prolific composer who ever existed (in an etymological sense of the word: able to produce progeny), with his twenty legitimate children from two wives: J.S. Bach (1685-1750). In a different manner from the greater part of composers of the Baroque period, Bach tended to note everything on the score, so that he would leave very little space to free interpretation by the performers. Quintetto Bislacco will fill in this space by twisting what can be distorted in the Concert for two violins BWV 1043, and dedicating to it an arrangement “in style” of the Beatles well-+known song, Michelle. Finally in Italy with Rossini Giovacchino (1792-1868); he is the author of some forty operas, passed from extraordinary success to sensational failures, among which a historical one is Barbiere di Siviglia. Rossini, it is well known, was a great culinary lover and since childhood he was an altar boy mainly to be able to drink some last drop of wine contained in the priest’s chalice. From Giovacchino to Ennio, two absurd names, come two guarantees of very good music in completely different periods. Ennio Morricone (1928) in 1958 was engaged as a musical assistant by Rai (the public broadcast company), but he resigned on the same day as soon as he got to know that it was absolutely prohibited to transmit any music composed by employees of this public board (conflict of interests policy). From 1964 onwards he writes all soundtracks of the spaghetti-western series directed by Sergio Leone. We will now abandon the old continent to land in America, first making landfall in the South with Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992), the Argentine hailing from Puglia who turned the rules of the tango upside down, to proceed northward with George Gershwin (1898-1937) and Charlie Parker (1920-1955), a saxophonist who invented the bebop style and who, departing from swing and blues roots, carries along to Afro-American music an original improvised development characterised by bold harmonic substitutions and by greater attention for rhythm. Returning to Europe, the circle is closed in Austria with Birdland by Joe Zawinul (1932-2007), a pianist, organist, jazz keyboard player, who in 1971 founds, together with saxophonist Wayne Shorter, the Weather Report group. Another less known Austrian is a certain W.A. Mozart (1756-1791) to whom we dedicate all that will happen this evening in the eccentric version of the Overture from The magic flute. The trip comes to an end between Lauriano and Breganzona, in Gustavo's and Duilio's homes, two untiring arrangers/composers of all the music played by the Quintet, yet it always leaves the wish to start off again towards new destinations, like those which you could hear about in the encore…
Marco Radaelli