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HAPPENED TODAY - On June 6, 1807, the cellist and composer Adrien-François Servais was born in Halle

Silvia Chiesa (2)


Let’s get to the twentieth century: a courageous choice, almost against the current. Do you want to talk about it? The motivations, the difficulties but also the results achivied?
Actually there are not many musicians interested in this repertoire: I think it is considered by many to have a little success and certainly not to be of ordinary repertoire, so it is difficult to study and program. Instead I have a real passion for these authors: I discovered that they left us extraordinary music and that it was only necessary to make them live again. And here is my commitment, planned for eight years that gave birth to eight solo concerts of Italian composers from 1925 to 1974: a real discovery for me and for many insiders.
It was an arduous but exciting project in the moments of study and registration. Many people contacted me for information and many interested artistic directors invited me for first performances abroad.
The difficulties of course have been there, but when you really believe in something that goes beyond your own personal success, you overcome any obstacle.

They wrote about you that you are “the lady of Italian sound” and also “an ambassador of Italian music in the world”. Do you recognize yourself in these definitions?
I’m flattered. I can only say that I have put passion, a great curiosity and the true and profound need to make everyone understand that Italy boasts top-notch composers, unjustly forgotten.

What characteristics, technically, does have the twentieth century music for a cellist?
Difficult to explain it in a synthetic way. Let’s say that the instrumental music of this period exploits all the expressive potential of the instrument: it takes the registers to the extremes and adopts a hypervirtuosistic technique. Often the cello is brought to play in the high register, as if it was a violin.
But it is also on the color that a lot of work is needed: often the orchestral part is intense not to say heavy, and therefore obliges the instrumentalist to have sound always well focused in every musical moment, in piano and in forte.
The structure itself of the concert can be large-scale: the Concert of Castelnuovo-Tedesco, for example, lasts almost 33 minutes!
But every concert recorded by me has different compositional and expressive characteristics. This was the best thing: I had to expand my technical and expressive baggage in order to be credible in every single composition so as to always arrive at an appropriate interpretation.

At the time of these composers, how did public and critics react to the novelty of these musical proposals? Was the melodrama still the only real interest in the musical world of that time?
Yes the melodrama was still very present and the work of these composers was precisely aimed to create new ways of musical expression. I do not know what happened when they had these concerts, only for some of theme we have testimonies, but I can say that they were programmed in the most important concert seasons, with the best soloists and directors of the time. For example, the Castelnuovo-Tedesco concert was performed in New York with Toscanini on the podium and Piatigorsky as the soloist.

What about your schedule projects for the near future … And in a long distance?
Many concerts, some debuts with foreign orchestras and some new record ideas that I can not reveal (for superstition!). I would like to start a festival but I am still looking for a venue that can inspire me and I would also like to work for a music school for children following modern criteria.
For the distant future: I would like, as a careful teacher to involve young people in concerts with me: so that some of them may carry on this work of spreading Italian music even after me. There are still so many musical treasures to discover …

Thank you again for your availability. See you soon.
Thanks to you.