Giovanni Bellucci - Program

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Project by Giovanni Bellucci dedicated to William Shakespeare

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Giovanni Bellucci, pianist
Giancarlo Giannini, narrator
Music by Alkan, Byrd, Beethoven, Busoni, Chopin, Liszt, Mendelssohn and Rossini
Words by William Shakespeare
“The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils; The motions of his spirit are dull as night, And his affections dark as Erebus. Let no such man be trusted.” I wonder whether composers of genius such as Beethoven, Chopin or Liszt were really so far from Iago’s human baseness, or if their minds didn’t hide wild instincts like those of Caliban: for Shakespeare, citing his "Merchant of Venice", music is the art of sensitivity,
it is an expression of goodness. But Romanticism in Beethoven, Chopin and Liszt and in the unrecognized acrobat of the keyboard – I mean the Parisian, Alkan - are all characterized by the quest for Infinity, the Absolute, the Sublime and by that restless and yearning condition of the human psyche defined by a German word: Sehnsucht, which is as fascinating as it is untranslatable. It is the desire for desire, or the malaise' of a painful yearning. In the art of the piano this has produced two extreme forms of expression; on the one hand, a powerful transcendental virtuosity and on the other, an impalpable sound, those whispering hammers that conjure up an immaterial pre-impressionistic atmosphere. The performance of Beethoven’s "The Tempest Sonata ", of Chopin’s mysterious “Nocturne in G minor” after watching "Hamlet", the performance of Liszt's fireworks of the Paraphrase on "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by Mendelssohn, a spectacular series of variations on the famous “Wedding March”, whilst taking in the readings performed by a great artist like Giancarlo Giannini, seemed to me the best way to recapture the original spirit of these expressive musical masterpieces in an attempt to re-live their primordial intensity and the wellspring of their creative inspiration. I wonder if this combination of words and sounds might even create - subliminally - a sort of optical interference, that, as if in a dream, (... a midsummer night’s dream), could make us feel as if William Shakespeare’s hologram were next to us, for ninety minutes…
Giovanni Bellucci

the 32 Beethoven Sonatas in 8 recitals (Palermo, IT)

the 19 Liszt Hungarian Rhapsodies (Paris, FR)

the 9 Beethoven/Liszt Symphonies in five concerts (Lisbon, ES)

the 5 Beethoven Concertos performed in two evenings (Biel, CH)

Busoni’s complete works for piano and orchestra (Mannheim, DE)