Monday, 20 August 2012

Music in Lucca

Boccherini's home, and many another composer; this country is so rich in culture, I think I could happily stay here for the rest of my life, browsing round churches and palaces, attending lectures (think of those fascinating talks we used to go to in Torino, given in Massimo's Cinema just round the corner from the Mole film museum, on the history of film. I learnt an enormous amount, a new visual language, how to look at films, the cinematographic art...).
And here in Lucca I hear piano music by the great nineteenth-century composers, Brahms, Liszt, Prokofiev ... whom I had often thought less palatable than, for instance, Mozart -- and now discover how exciting and absorbing it can be. All helped by the Lucchese setting, the warm evening air, the violet light slowly fading.
On Sunday evening David and I attended a (I search for le mot juste!) hilarious concert, a farewell to musician/composer Federico Favali who is off to study in London at King's College. Musician friends of his from Lucca, under the energetic encouragement of Mattia Campetti, arranged a splendid programme comprising works written by Favali, performed by young musicians who know him. The energy abounded and the quality was first rate. A special word for the stunning performance of soprano Michelle Buscemi, truly riveting and an unforgettable voice. We hope all these young musicians will never lose the warmth and passion with which they filled this evening.
And, for me a most moving touch: after the concert they welcomed me to the grand piano and struck up Happy Birthday, in English. Wonderful unforgettable birth-day!

Home through the soft warm night. The cicadas in the pine trees scratch tempestuously without ever pausing. The cat (who is fat but not pregnant as first suspected) slips through the shadows, waits on the doorstep when David and I return at midnight.

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