Vivaldi, Verdi and solo on the machine

Although sophisticated part of the Russian public, which knows and loves classic music, is not much surprised by the arrival of the musical group one of the oldest Opera theatres in Europe was for her a very exotic event. The fact that his conductor Fabrizio Fichera – a special approach to the program, and for execution. The creative concept – the combination of classics with more modern works, sometimes experimental. While the listener always gets the feeling that he was in the Baroque era

Italian artists came from the city of Trieste, where in the distant 1801, opened the Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi. Interestingly, it was built under the project of Giannantonio Selva – author of the Venetian “La Fenice” and student of the architect of the Milan theatre La Scala, Matteo Pertsa, so the inside of the building is similar to the first, and the outside in the second. Two premieres of operas by Giuseppe Verdi – “corsaro” and “Stiffelio” – took place on its stage. During the composer’s lifetime it was called, as the main theatre of Moscow – “Grande” (“Big”), and the name Verdi was a few hours after the composer’s death.

The orchestra has a rich history. With him were Herbert von Karajan, Placido Domingo, Riccardo Mutti, nello Santi. Fabrizio Fichur became his Manager for more than 25 years ago. In the capital, he brought a new program, which includes works by Italians Gioachino Rossini, Giacomo Puccini, expressive melody by the Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla, “Elegy” by Tchaikovsky, simple Symphony for string orchestra Englishman Benjamin Britten and sometimes ironic pieces of music by Leroy Anderson. For an encore the orchestra played the most famous classical masterpieces, such as “Summer” from “the seasons” Vivaldi. Emotion was on the rise – from light sadness to joyful excitement in the final. Some of the music in Anderson’s written as short Comedy skits. His “typewriter”, in which one of the members of the orchestra performed solos on the same device that he called a musical joke. No less ridiculous and “Nonsense” in which “scenario” – more precisely, the score, the conductor at some point throws the orchestra, running behind the scenes, and the instrumentalists begin to play action, similar to the plot of the fable “Swan, cancer, pike Yes”. In General, for the audience staged the whole sonic journey. And before the concert “MK” talked with Fabrizio about his unusual ideas, the state of classical music in Italy and (surprisingly) – there is about the upcoming concert dedicated to the centenary of the 1917 revolution.

– Fabrizio, combining the classics with the works of more modern composers, how do you choose the material with which to work?

The orchestra was established in 1961 it is in order to popularize classical music, especially Italian music of the XIX century. Also we play the works of composers who, inspired by the classics, writing songs especially for our orchestra. This is a special work, it is considered that it is “not for everyone”. However, we with each performance I am convinced that many of the students are very receptive to it and they are happy to see high art. If to speak about the program, now in Russia, we decided to combine it Baroque music in the first part with a more modern in the second. This expands the boundaries of perception and gives us the opportunity for one evening to acquaint the public with two different directions. And we are very proud that this concert was the premiere for the Russian audience of some compositions by Verdi and Puccini, who’s never even been recorded.

– How well prepared and responsive, according to your observations, the modern audience?

– This was our third performance in Russia, and the audience here always greeted us very friendly and warm. I spent two years studying at the Conservatory in St. Petersburg. With the Russian musical culture and introduced me to Mikhail Kukushkin, a disciple of Dmitri Shostakovich. And in the process of learning, and after I became more aware of how developed it is in your country. This applies not only to those brilliant works that have been created by your composers, but the level of training of the audience. Speaking to the audience here, I realize how much she is knowledgeable, demanding, at the same time – a very sincere and welcoming. It’s incredibly valuable.

– In Russia, many academic musicians face great financial difficulties, problems of employment promotion. How is this situation in Italy?

– In Italy, too, for many years in this field lasts for such a crisis, the only thing that still is the envy of all other countries – the fact that there is a very good school. And speaking of employment opportunities, most unfortunately, the Italian performers playing classical music, are valued at home and abroad. So many artists work in orchestras or teaching in Germany, in England, where they have the opportunity to achieve financial stability. In Italy the government, alas, does not support at the appropriate level of academic musicians. Previously, this support was, today almost all the problems they have to solve on their own.

– What ambitions do you have now? What ideas you plan to implement?

– I would like to establish stronger cooperation with Russia, because, as I said, I went here, and my master gave me a love for Russian culture and Russian music. I’m interested to do it, to do its study until now. In November in Italy we have organized a big concert dedicated to the centenary of the October revolution of 1917. It will feature music by Shostakovich, Prokofiev. This event is supported by many Italian associations, the Ministry of culture of the Russian Consulate in Italy and English side: it will be an incredibly talented boy from England, the Indigo child, who at 9 years old, just a virtuoso plays the piano. This is a large collaborative project, dedicated to Russia, a tribute to the great Russian composers, whose work we also want to promote around the world.

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