Segantini: Ritorno a Milano

 

Segantini: Ritorno a Milano

 

Nel mese di settembre Milano è il set per un triello alla Sergio Leone: Segantini, Van Gogh e Chagall.

Nomi di grande prestigio nella bella Milano, che per l’occasione sfoggia un look degno di una grande metropoli, con uno skyline in divenire, pronta per l’Expo 2015 .

Van Gogh sarà in mostra dal 18 ottobre all’8 marzo 2015 «L’uomo, la terra, il lavoro» una esposizione, curata da Kathleen Adler, dal taglio particolardedicata soprattutto ai primi passi di Van Gogh nella pittura, tanto che verranno esposti capolavori molto poco conosciuti come «Ritratto di Joseph Roulin» e «Natura morta con un piatto di cipolle», entrambi datati 1889, oltre naturalmente a un classico, folgorante «Autoritratto» composto due anni prima. Marc Chagall sarà a Palazzo Reale dal 17 settembre al 18 gennaio 2015, duecento dipinti, provenienti anche dalle collezioni private dei suoi eredi, in genere inediti ai più. Curata da Meret Meyer e Claudia Zevi, una maxi-retrospettiva che racconta l’artista di cui Picasso disse: «Quando morirà Matisse, Chagall sarà l’unico pittore rimasto a capire che cos’è il colore» Intitolata esplicitamente «Il ritorno a Milano», la retrospettiva, in cartellone dal 18 settembre al 18 gennaio 2015, costituirà, ancora a Palazzo Reale, una fantastica introduzione all’Expo: fu infatti a Milano che Segantini, all’esposizione nazionale di Brera, conobbe il suo primo immediato successo. Strana coppia, che ugualmente conobbe a Milano travolgenti momenti di gloria, Lucio Fontana e Yves Klein: insieme animeranno da ottobre a febbraio 2015 gli spazi del Museo del Novecento.I grandi artisti ci segnano inevitabilmente. Entrano nelle nostre vite con la loro visione del mondo e ci fanno vedere le cose da altri punti di vista.In questo momento storico l’arte ci tocca particolarmente. La precarietà e le difficoltà ci mettono alla prova e in Segantini la cosa che mi ha colpita particolarmente è stata la sua fragilità, il suo vagabondaggio e renderlo un uomo. Trovare la forza dentro se stessi andando controcorrente.

Trovare una centratura nella precarietà. Segantini l’aveva trovata nelle meravigliose Alpi che lasciano senza parole, luce pura per gli occhi.

Un alcova per il pittore e per noi che guardiamo con i suoi occhi per un momento ci possiamo lasciar trasportare indietro nel tempo dove nasce il Giuseppe Segantini e il tesoro che racchiudono i suoi splendidi paesaggi.

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La famiglia Segatini ( infatti il cognome del padre all’anagrafe era Segatini ma lo stesso pittore lo cambiò) viveva in condizioni precarie e alla morte della madre nel 1865 viene mandato a Milano dal padre presso la figlia di primo letto Irene. Vive la sua giovinezza solitario e chiuso in se stesso vagabondando da un posto all’altro, tanto che nel 1870 è rinchiuso nel riformatorio Marchiondi, dal quale tenta di fuggire nel 1871 e vi rimane poi fino al 1873.

In seguito viene affidato al fratellastro Napoleone, che ha bisogno di un garzone nel suo laboratorio di fotografia a Borgo Valsugana e vi rimane fino al 1874, sviluppando così una prima idea artistica propria, tanto che al ritorno a Milano si iscrive all’Accademia di Belle Arti Brera, che frequenta per quasi tre anni. A Milano inizia a lavorare per Luigi Tettamanzi, decoratore, e insegnando all’istituto Marchiondi. Segue le lezioni di Giuseppe Bertini e stringe amicizie importanti come Emilio Longoni. Dipinge inizialmente sotto l’influsso del verismo lombardo ma già nel 1878 viene notato dalla critica e ottiene riconoscimenti. Tra i suoi sostenitori Vittore Grubivy con il quale instaura un rapporto sia lavorativo che ti amicizia, che durerà per molto tempo. L’anno dopo conosce Luigia Bugatti, detta Bice, che ne diverrà compagna per tutta la vita. A quel punto decide di trasferirsi in Brianza, precisamente a Pusiano e lavora grazie al sotegno di Grubicy, collaborando strettamente con Emilio Longoni: in questi anni si distacca dall’accademia e dalle sue imposizioni  che crea una forma espressiva originale. Nel 1883 sottoscrive un contratto con Grubicy. Si trasferisce ancora una volta, nel cantone Grigioni a Savognin, dove il suo stile subisce un ulteriore evoluzione e avvicinandosi al divisionismo.. Grubicy promuove moltissimo Segantini all’estero tanto che nel 1888 viene presentato all’Italian Exhibition di Londra, diventando un apprezzato e riceracato collaboratore di riviste d’arte. A questo punto della sua carrirera utilizza allegorie basate sui modelli nordici.

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Nel 1894 si trasferisce in Engadina a Maloggia seguendo il desiderio di meditazione personale e riscoperta del proprio misticismo e il villaggio di Maloggia gli consente una vita solitaria e lo splendido paesaggio alpino intorno lo avvolgono e lo proteggono. Nel periodo invernale soggiorna in albergo a Soglio, in Val Bregaglia e ogni tanto si concede un viaggio a Milano.

Prepara un progetto per la realizzazione del padiglione dell’Engandina per l’Esposizione Universale di Parigi del 1900, un panorama engadinese lungo 220 metri. Nonostante il profondo impegno dedicato all’opera la stessa viene ridotta per i costi troppo elevati, mancando anche il cotributo promesso dagli albergatori engadinesi, tra i primi committenti dell’opera e viene trasformato nel Trittico della Natura o delle Alpi. Il Trittico viene rifiutato poiché l’immagine non era in sintonia con l’immagine turistica che i committenti intendevano trasmettere a Parigi, quindi l’opera finisce nel padiglione italiano.

A soli quarantuno anni sullo Schafberg il monte che domina Ponrtresina il 28 settembre del 1899, colto da un letale attacco di peritonite.

Lo splendido museo di St. Moritz centro piu importante dell’Egandina possiede la piu grande collezione di opere del pittore italiano. Il grandioso Trittico delle Alpi e i suoi schizzi preparatori fu inaugurato nel 1908. Per celebrare il centenario il museo è stato ampliato e tra le opere esposte sono presenti anche le tele precedenti al periodo divisionista com La vacca nella stalla del 1882 La benedizione delle pecore del 1884. L’adesione al divisionismo è documentata da Il capriolo more del 1892 e La raccolta del fieno del 1889-1898. Al centro del museo il Trittico delle Alpi, insieme all’intera sequenza dei bozzetti preparativi. Sullo Schafberg esiste anche un rifugio alpino, Chamanna Segantini.

 

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http://www.mostrasegantini.it

Giuseppe Chiaramonte: like a melisma

Giuseppe Chiaramonte

 

Born in Italy in 1985, Giuseppe Chiaramonte debuted as a classical guitar concert artist at the age of 15 and has performed many concerts throughout Italy, meeting with a notable audience and critical success everywhere he has played. 
Among these, he played as solo at the prestigious International Guitar Festival “Brescia Chitarra”, at the International Music Festival “Infinitamusica”,  and with the Microkosmos Orchestra at Museo Diocesano in Milan. 
Invited in special radio programs dedicated to him, he performed a series of solo concerts with live radio broadcast.
 
As a winner of the “Sony Classical Talent Scout”, his interpretation of Johann Kaspart Mertz’s Elegie, live recorded during Sony Talent Scout at the Madesimo Music Festival 2013, will be included in a compilation-CD by SONY CLASSICAL label. 

He did the first absolute recording of Francesco Domenico Stumpo’s compositions for solo classical guitar (publication year: 2014 / Sinfonica Label, Milan).
His performances are supported by a well-developed technique and a refined timbre appreciated by some of the world’s  greatest representatives of classical guitar. 

He attended classical guitar lessons and public Master Classes with Angelo Capistrano, Giovanni Puddu, Emanuele Segre, Pavel Steidl, Zoran Dukic and with Aldo Minella at the International Music Academy of Milan.  
Giuseppe Chiaramonte
Among others, he won the 1st absolute award at the International Music Competition “Città di Maccagno” in 2007 and he was rewarded by the Rotary International Club with the justification of “having combined the study of classical subjects with a valuable musical dedication to the field of guitar interpretation”, in 2001.  

Since 2011 he has given an annual Master Class at the Art and Music organization “Infinitamusica” in Milan. 

He earned his Bachelor Degree in Biomedical Engineering in 2006 and his Master Degree in Electronics Engineering in 2009 with full marks at Politecnico di Milano. Today he is here with me for this special interview! Enjoy!

Giuseppe Chiaramonte

Hello Giuseppe, I would like to thank you to be here with me in this space! In this period you held many concerts and recorded an album. Would you like to tell me more about your last tour?

In my last concert tour I was involved in Milan, Berlin and Lecce. In Milan, during a hand-made-guitar exhibition , it was a very informal concert, one of those where people interact with you between a piece and another, and maybe even make you some (unlikely!) repertoire request! At the end of the performance a very good guitarist has approached asking for lessons with me (it’s one of the most beautiful things that can happen to you at the end of a performance!) and now he is already a student of mine. The Berlin concert was focused on Spanish music, it was held  at a prestigious and elegant KunstSalon, and that is what I consider my real international debut. The last concert, in Lecce, was a double event. That day in the afternoon, in fact, I gave a Master Class, then the concert, in the evening. There was a great and warm audience, who responded with applauses and cheers, but at the same time the crowd was extremely quiet during the performance. But, for sure, the real souvenir I will keep with me from this experience, is the standing ovation at the end, it does not happen so often and when it happens it is really exciting. From every concert  I carry with me a special souvenir, like that time in Milan when a girl burst into tears listening to the Fernando Sor “Fantasia Elegiaca” (it is a piece the composer dedicated to his pupil Charlotte, who died young). You see, every performance, in which I give emotions to the audience, also enriches me!

 

 

Which composer do you feel most attached to?

I’m very fond to the romantic guitarist-composer Johann Kaspar Mertz because a large part of his music, which is really piano-inspired (in his works many elements typical of the style of Chopin and Liszt are recognizable) is particularly, let’s say, enhanced by my technique, a new technique I often give seminars and public classes about.

But, if I were to say who is my favorite composer, undoubtedly Johann Sebastian Bach, his music is divine and human at the same time! I don’t add anything else because it would be reductive.

 

The perfect soundtrack of a journey

If I travel for concerts, of course the entire repertoire to be performed is the soundtrack!, it comes constantly back in my thoughts and each time I have the possibility I rehearse it.

If I make long car trips I usually select a range of CD among the last bought, but the Mozart Requiem K626, the Bach Goldberg Variations performed by Glenn Gould and a recording of Beethoven’s Ninth Sinfony conducted by Riccardo Muti are never missing!

 

 

Giuseppe Chiaramonte

What must never be lacking in the suitcase of a musician?

Music scores, with no doubts! When you cannot listen to music or perform it, sink into the view of a score and imagine the sound of notes, the dynamics … it is something priceless, I do it often in train or plane. Just two days ago, on a plane, coming back from vacation, I got lost that way among the notes of Capriccio Diabolico by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, a master piece written as a tribute to Paganini. And then, a nail file and many pieces of sandpaper, if you are a guitarist, should never miss!

What is your relationship with fashion, what do you like to wear when you hold a concert and what you enjoy in your free time instead?

I am not an expert in fashion and I am sure you can forgive me for this :-) I like everything that is simple, essential.

For concerts I usually dress differently depending on the occasion. Smoking for the most important performances, “total black” for informal concerts.
In my free time I choose randomly from the wardrobe…

A place on earth in which you are particularly fond of.

Surely the beautiful castle of Santa Severina, in Calabria, because there I held my first personal recital in June 2002 … since that day I always carry with me, in my guitar case, a small silver guitar the mayor of Santa Severina gave me as a gift after my performance (here revealed my good luck charm!)

 

What is your relationship with art? Do you enjoy visiting museums?

Figurative art was the first art form I was interested in. Actively, I mean. As a child I loved to paint with watercolors and tempera, a passion that has survived until adulthood (the last picture was a still-life with violin), and until a few years ago I drew in pencil. Then, the tyrant time has forced me to choose and I gave the music a priority.

I love visiting museums and I have a respect bordering on veneration for the great masters of art. In particular I am attracted by the paintings of the Romantic era because they are the true expression of the romantic man’s inner turmoil (let’s think of stormy landscapes of William Turner …), as the music of that period, of course, perfectly in balance between the “larmoyant” and the “flamboyant”.

 

Giuseppe Chiaramonte

 

How did your passion for the guitar rise up and what led you in this direction? And what advice would you give to those who want to pursue a career like yours?

 

The passion, the real one, was not a love at first sight, but it gradually raised. Not an explosion, but a plant that has grown slowly over the years. At the beginning, my mother wanted me to take guitar lessons, but nobody had pretensions, me neither. At a certain moment I met maestro Angelo Capistrano, who treated the most important years of my music education, bringing me, in a few years, from beginner to concert artist!
For those wishing to pursue a career as a performer I strongly recommend to listen to each note they play with a severe critical eye; never be satisfied! moreover, don’t passively imitate the interpretations of others but constantly try to find your own point of view, your interpretation, always in accordance with what the composer wrote, of course! To paraphrase a Middle East saying, when I pass on to a better life I will be not asked  “why you have not been Segovia?” I will be probably asked, instead, “why you have not been Chiaramonte?”

 

 

Where will we see you in the near future?

 

The next already scheduled event is my participation in the International Festival Gitarrentage Vaihingen, in Germany. Within this event, involving musicians from several continents, I will keep a master class and a lecture-concert entitled “Comparing Guitars” during which I will play all the hand-made guitars exposed. It is a type of performance quite challenging because each guitar is different from the other (size, sound sustain, tension of the strings, etc.), and from each instrument you must bring out the best. Other concerts are being planned in Italy, Germany and Austria.

 

Among the future projects I can announce, for the first time officially, the recording and publication of an instructional DVD on the new principles of classical guitar technique mentioned  above. To intrigue your readers, in particular I will deal, among other topics, with the immediate and mediate preparation, with the super-rest-stroke and I will introduce a new approach to the study of tremolo, which is one of the most fascinating techniques of classical guitar!

Giuseppe Chiaramonte

 

 

This is a special gift for you Alida, hope you like it, and when we’ll meet in Milano I’ll give you the book personally!

 

Thanks a lot Giuseppe… See you soon on the web pianolovers! :* A big kiss!

Giuseppe Chiaramonte

 

www.giuseppechiaramonte.it

Pianoforte, music and the seventh art: a dream between the notes

Play it again, Sam!

The movie industry was never really silent. From the beginning, music was an integral part of the film show. Even the Lumière documentaries were screened with musical accompaniments with orchestra or piano, as a solo artist. Probably the music came in the cinemas to meet the need of practical intent: cover the noise produced by the audience and those coming from the projector running, but it was clear from the outset its expressive potential within the seventh art.

 Several directors of early cinema had sought a method to synchronize sound and images, as Melies or Dickson, or the production company Gaumont who was born with the intent to distribute phonographic material for the cinema. These attempts, realized recording to the music that was supposed to accompany the film, had no fortune, visual track and the soundtrack were recorded and played back on different media, which easily caused the loss of synchronism, also amplification systems cinemas were inadequate.

Film and music are two arts which undeniably have woven their languages​​, and is now widely accepted that the images and sounds constitute two inseparable aspects of the filmic text.

For a long time the sound dimension of the film has been little studied by film critics but recently, especially in the last twenty years, has produced a rich literature.
Already by the early cinema, silent movies, the music had a vital role before for purely pragmatic reasons and, as a result, more for reasons of structural and narrative. There have been many scholars, musicologists, historians and critics of cinema, but also the directors and musicians, who have questioned the relationship between film and music, what were the models aesthetic, formal, compositional, whose film music you drew.

The relationship between images and music, however, has never been granted.

Sebastiano Luciani, argues that the relationship between music and images would ideally be overturned.

 

And that may not be the music to follow the images, simply because “the music can determine the gesture, do not follow it, can evoke the images, do not translate them into sound.” So who should make a music for a film according to Luciani should never in any way from the images to develop and compose the soundtrack, but instead anticipate the action, working on the “overall plot”, the “subject”, realize the musical work even before you realize the film, which is a way of working that is used by many directors and composers of the last century and contemporary. An example is the extraordinary couple who formed with Fellini Nino Rota and the wonder of masterpieces like The way in which the two worked, as in so many other films, with this method, or more recently the approach of composer James Newton Howard against the film by Jay Russell the Water Horse, for example.

The  relationship between music and image is really complex, we should have to follow the screen and not vice versa (while recognizing the value about this  pragmatic art of music born to be a musical accompaniment of the images), it was a theory espoused by several authors in the first half of the ’900 century, in ballet as well, many thought to find in an art form that could somehow be a model for the cinema. The film work becomes able, more than any other art, to give a plastic form and substance, through motion pictures and music. This was fairly widespread opinion, even if  Dimitri Tiomkin, one of the most important composers in Hollywood, wanted a good film as “a ballet with dialogue,” but that could not be followed from the point of view of the development of theoretical and film. Interesting what Simeon noted in relation to the many points of contact between the film and pantomime.

Understand the pantomime as one of the kinds of entertainment closer to the cinema in fact also helps to better understand the relationship between music and cinema, in the light of what we have said. The pantomime is in fact a summary of the elements of ballet, because there was a movement of the actors linked to the music, though not transfigured so accomplished in dance, with a continuous accompaniment of music without being expected the support of the word, nor sung it spoken.

Of course, the stronger  bond with the music of Wagner and the ItalianOopera and the symphonic poem, although the use of the leitmotif in the film is less rich in terms of musical aesthetics and never becomes a fundamental structural principle (think such as the symphony Hollywood of the 20s and 30s). If Adorno criticized the use of the leitmotif in film music, calling it “a waiter musical, with inclusive aspect, presents his lord, while everyone knows who it is.” The Polish musicologist Zofia Lissa felt, however, that the Leitmotiv, in the construction of a soundtrack, answer to a need of continuity and structural unity, and integration of information in the characterization, suggesting to the viewer psychological details, related to the character , that the images alone are not able to convey.

The piano and the silverscreen, then they are intimately linked since the birth of the seventh art. When there was no sound in fact often the piano was the perfect accompaniment to highlight the nuances of the actors’ faces. Emotional orchestra that could be easily transported in any movie: a little bulky compared to a conventional orchestra and significant effect.

Pianoforte and cinema

Once the film industry get the sound, the piano was left at home, but only physically: but reappear in the silverscreen, with plenty of film dedicated to this beautiful instrument.

 

Today we take a tour of the most beautiful films that talk about this wonderful tool: are you ready?

I would start with this wonderful film starring Viveca Lindfors in 1944, the title is just what the famous Beethoven Sonata in fact “Appassionata” and throughout the film there are some splendid passage of the Fifth and the Seventh Symphony.

A song to remember (1945): About the life of  Chopin, starring Cornel Wilde; George Sand is played by  Merle Oberon. The pianist on the soundtrack was Josè Iturbi , but the pianist whose hands were shown on-screen was Ervin Nyiregyhàzi.

Vidor romanticizes Chopin’s patriotism in the film, which was produced during World War II. Chopin, played by Cornel Wilde, is first presented to the audience as a child prodigy playing a piece by Mozart , but suddenly starts to bang on the piano keys when he notices out the window that Polish people are being taken prisoners by the Russian authorities.

 

This movie is a biopic starring Katharine Hepburn,Paul Henreid, Robert Walker, and Leo Carroll, directed by Clarence Brown, released by MGM, the title is Song of Love (1947). The most unforgettable scene is when Hepburn plays the beautiful pieces at piano.

Hepburn played magisterially Clara Wieck! You should watch this movie! The screenplay was based on play by Bernard Schubert and Mario Silva.

Song of Love

The Seventh Veil, from 1945. This is a fictional story about a piano student and her uncle, played by Ann Todd and James Mason. The uncredited pianist was Eileen Joyce, she played amazingly the Rachmaninoff 2nd Concerto, Grief’s Concerto in A minor and beautiful pieces by Mozart, Chopin and Beethoven ( The Pathetique Sonata assumed an importance role in the movie)

 

Contemporary movie, we are in 1960 and Francois Truffaut dirige il film “ Tirez sur le pianiste”  inspired by the novel of David Goodies. Charlie Kohler is a pianist in a suburb restaurant. One night he met his brother Chico followed by a group of gangster, and this moment change forever is life: he became the perfect target for those criminals.

 

 

” Five Easy Pieces”(1970).  This is a Drama, about a piano prodigy interpreted by one of the most important and charming actor in Hollywood, Jack Nicholson .The soundtrack includes movements from Mozart’s Concerto in E-flat major, K.271, Fantasy in D minor, K.397 and Chopin’s Preludes.

 

Amadeus- Milos Forman

A masterpiece from Milos Forman: “Amadeus” (1984). The movie is based on Puskin theory about the antagonism between Salieri the great  F.Murray Abraham and the young prodigy Mozart, played by Tom Hulce, in this unforgettable interpretation.

This movie is a fictional story of a Bengali piano prodigy ( Navin Chowdhry) who must choose between pleasing his mother or his talented, but unsuccessful piano teacher, Shirley MacLaine,“Madame Sousatzka” (1988) .

The pieces are: Schubert’s Impromptu N. 4, Scriabin’s Etude in D-sharp minor, Op.8/12, Chopin’s C minor Prelude and Polonaise in A flat major, Schumann’s Carnaval and Piano Conerto in A minor, Brahms’s Concert N.1 in D minor, and Beethoven’s Appassionata.

The Fabulous Baker Boys ( 1989), a fictional drama about two young pianist brother, Jess and Beau Bridges and a singer, the beautiful Michelle Pfeiffer. Here the sound track is jazz and pop, including Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Ten Cents A Dance, The Look of Love, Makin’ Whoopee, You’re Sixteen and My Funny Valentine.

“Great Balls of Fire!” (1989) This film follow the life of Jerry Lee Lewis as played by Dannis Quaid. It features many of the artist’s hits such as Great Balls of Fire, Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin On and Wild One.

Another movie on Chopin’s life: Impromptu (1991). A romance film, depicting the relation between Chopin, interpreted by Hugh Grant, and George Sand, the great Julian Sands also makes and appearance as Franz Liszt. The film features work by Chopin: Ballade N’1 in G minor, Minute Waltz, Fantasie- impromptu and Liszt: Dante Sonata, Trascendental Etude N.4 “Mazeppa”.

Another movie, another prodigy: “Shine” that describe the life and career of David Helfgott, starring Geoffery Rush as Sir. John Gielgud. The soundtrack is characterise by Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto N.3 ( referred to as ” The Rach 3″) is prominently featured.

“The Legend of 1900″  (1991). This movie is based on the novel written by Alessandro Baricco and directed by Giuseppe Tornatore. It’s a pure poetry fiction story about a young pianist born orphan in a boat….

 

Adrien Brody "The pianist"

The drama of the War, and the Nazi regime: “The Pianist” is the real story of the Polish pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman, played by Adrien Bordy, in the Jewish Ghetto of 1940′s Warsaw. Beethoven’s Monnlight Sonata and CHopin’s Ballade N.1 are the soundtrack of this dramatic story.

Two recent movie that I love: “Ray”, a biopic of Ray Charles, starring jamie Foxx and “Copying Beethoven” in 2006, a fictional take on the final year of composer Beethoven’s ( Ed Harris) life as he composes his Ninth Symphony.

Soon the second part, with more movies :)