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Presented by the Italian Cultural Institute in collaboration with PianoForte Foundation

Thursday, January 24, 2019
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

PianoForte Studios
1335 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL

24 gennaio

Dispatrio refers to an imposed or self-chosen exile, a removal from one’s roots to find oneself elsewhere, where one tris to recreate the conditions of a new home and hearth. Dispatrio also refers to a culture of belonging that becomes an interior dimension, unrelated to the places and spaces of everyday life, a new encounter with the other: the other that comes to inhabits us.Luigi Meneghello (1922-2007) discusses this concept in one of his books, Il dispatrio (1994), in which he shares his personal experience of crossing Italian and English cultures.

This concert focuses on the theme of ‘dispatriation’ and double-cultures by engaging with authors and experiences that span over two centuries. Starting from Gioacchino Rossini’s (1792-1868) self-exile in Paris, soon afterwards giving up writing for opera and turning to chamber music, vocal pieces with piano or for solo piano, filling his notoriously large notebooks. These are eccentric scores, starting with their titles, which conveys how Rossini uses irony to control, keeps at a distance, or mediate the coeval romantic culture which he perceived as full of emphasis and rhetoric. As such, it had to be simplified and displaced. In the piece included in the programme we find an ironic portrait of the different declinations of the ideal of purity and simplicity in Italy and France, two cultures he knew very well. His musical game makes us think of the fact that his ideal of simplicity springs out from a slow, fine, and elaborate cultural process.


Cosimo Colazzo (1964) Le terre rosse e il mare obliquo (2014)
Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868) da Péchés de vieillesse (1857-1868), Vol. V - Album des enfants adolescentes
L’innocence italienne, la candeur française
Michele Esposito (1855-1929) Three Pieces (1911) Alba – Zenith - Tramonto
Alfredo Casella (1883-1947) A notte alta (1917)
Vittorio Rieti (1898-1994) Contrasts (1967) Preludio – Variazioni – Bagatella – Elegia - Girandola
Cosimo Colazzo (1964) La tenzone (2016)

Cosimo Colazzo is a Professor at the Conservatory of Trento. He holds degrees in Piano (Conservatory of Lecce, Italy), in Composition (Conservatory of Rome), and in Conducting (Conservatory of Milan). He also holds a degree in Philosophy (University of Lecce). After specializing in composition with Salvatore Sciarrino (1985-88), he attended the Ferienkurse in Darmstadt.

As a composer, Colazzo has won numerous international competitions. His works have been featured in various international Festivals and have been performed throughout the world. Rai Trade, one of the most prestigious Italian record labels, publishes his musical works.

As a pianist, Colazzo has won numerous competitions as well, performing both his own works and that of lesser known 20th century masters. He writes regularly for journals of musicology and philosophy, and is the author of books and essays about composition, contemporary creativity, and the relationship between music and cinema. From 2005 to 2011 he was the director of the Conservatorio di Musica “F.A. Bonporti”, Trento (Italy), where he is currently Professor of Composition. He is a Faculty Member and Artist in Residence at the Italian School at Middlebury College (USA).

Michele Esposito (1855-1929), of Neapolitan culture, studied at the Conservatory of Naples where he was a pupil of Beniamino Cesi and Paolo Serrao (a colleague of the more widely known Giuseppe Martucci) and moved to Ireland. In his new homeland he promoted and led a movement of cultural expansion for classical music. Esposito was a composer and an extraordinarily talented pianist, an advocate of cultural initiatives who to this day is considered fundamental to the development of musical culture in his adopted country. Most importantly, at the turn of the century he took part in the Irish nationalist movement (one of the many in Europe at that time, especially at geographical margins of the continent), to find his own specific language, inspired by local popular expressions. Esposito, a displaced Italian, inspired by Irish culture, was able to cultivate this new cultural instance and translate it into his own musical compositions.

Alfredo Casella (1883-1947) studied in France, and upon returning to Italy he led a movement that pushes his home country to embrace the avant-gardes spirit at the beginning of the century. His double culture of belonging is at the origin of this choice. In contact with musicians such as Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky and Schönberg, Casella composed in a strongly post-tonal language, especially during the 1910s. Subsequently, following a neoclassical turnaround and in a different socio-political realm because of Fascism, he delved deeply into the Italian spirit, embracing a tradition that spans over the centuries and defines a specific identity, Italian or more widely Mediterranean, and that must be reflected also in a modern music experience.

Vittorio Rieti (1898-1994), a student of Casella, combines many different cultures in his works. An Italian born in Alexandria (Egypt), a town with a large Italian community, and into a secular Jewish family, Vittorio moved to Italy when he was a teenager to continue his studies, dividing his time between Paris and Italy. Eventually he left Italy as a refugee to escape the racial laws and persecutions (his mother and two uncles would be deported to Auschwitz). He found shelter and a new homeland in the United States. Late in his life he wrote: "I do not remember the Arabic language very much, but even today, if I have to write, I prefer French, while the language of thoughts and dreams has always remained Italian”. What better way of picturing an identity that consists of many pieces, that is, quintessentially and radically, polyphonic and plural?

This program also includes some recent works of mine. Le terre rosse, il mare obliquo (2014), the title conjuring up my homeland, the land of Salento: the red of loose clods and the oblique sea in a specific place along the coast. Even in times of globalization, one’s own homeland is amongst the most resilient and lasting memories despite the passing of time and location. My second piece, La tenzone (2016), is ideally dedicated to the poetry of Emilio Villa (1914-2003). Villa is a poet of extraordinary linguistic combinations and pastiches, an acrobat of the word, one who digs, analyzes, pushes, grafts, and reinvents, in a continuous combination of ancient and modern languages, archaic and futurist words. In my piece one can find similar musical games: something archaic is proposed as polyrhythmic stratifications that crosses, obsessively, repeated patterns. Musical time is brought into play, provoked, solicited, engraved and drawn out, surrounded by asymmetric accents. From time to time repetitions reach extreme limits, changing time, rounding its corners, making it elastic and almost dissolving it.
-Cosimo Colazzo

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Data: Gio 24 Gen 2019

Orario: Alle 18:00

Organizzato da : Istituto Italiano di Cultura

In collaborazione con : PianoForte Foundation

Ingresso : Libero


PianoForte Foundation - 1335 South Michigan Avenue