Theatre of San Carlo – Napoli – 3rd April 2015 at 6.00 p.m. (Turno P)
ROBERTO DE SIMONE – STABAT MATER
da Giovanni Sebastiano a Giovanni Battista
for Chorus, children voices, gospel quartet, three accordions and Orchestra of Teatro di San Carlo
Conductor: Maurizio Agostini
Chorus Maestro: Marco Faelli
Maestro of children voices: Stefania Rinaldi
Soprano: Stefanie Rice
Contralto: Leena Conquest
Tenore: Miles Griffith
Basso: Mervyn Griffith
Accordions: 1° Giuliana Soscia, 2° Ivano Battiston, 3° Francesco Gesualdi
Piano and Fortepiano: Pino Jodice
Arrangement for three accordions by Giuliana Soscia
Arrangement for piano by Pino Jodice
Orchestra, Chorus and children voices of Teatro di San Carlo
INTERVIEW WITH ROBERTO DE SIMONE
It comes from the document transcription of the Stabat Mater by G.B. Pergolesi, preserved in a manuscript in the National Library of J.S. Bach in Berlin. The transcription includes two singing voices and one bass voice, in which Bach seems to give up everything in favor of the beautiful melodic lines.
It seems a curious choice that to insert three accordions at the center of the project. What is the reason?
The artistic choices are due to language reasons. Writing a composition like this one, I could not write for a group of strings, because I would have betrayed the idea of activating an instrumental language completely abstracted from the Baroque practice. Because of this, in addition to the accordions, I entrusted the fortepiano, celesta and marimba recalls fragments of the Stabat Mater by Pergolesi, preferring these ones instead of strings; I can say that they are a kind of all “crystal” instruments. There was the need to activate voices with special timbres, so much so that the workforce is enriched by a children’s choir, gospel quartet and chorus. The choice is focused on timbre and it is also fitting Bach’s ideas, as he conceived the Stabat Mater for treble voices, unlike today that often relies on female voices.
How did you know the accordion? What is your relationship with this instrument?
First of all it is a very old instrument, more than we could expect. Since the days of Shakespeare were known and played instruments like the accordion. It ‘s a sort of substitute of a small chamber organ. In fact, it can sometimes remind the positive tone of the organs, thus assuming also the function of organ.
It is born of a previous experience, where she and her husband, Pino Jodice, had attended the event “Momento / Memento” in homage to Sergio Bruni and starring Nino D’Angelo, at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples. In that concert, directed by me, Giuliana Soscia and Pino Jodice were part of the orchestra and I could appreciate their personality, talent and intelligence above all their feeling for new musical languages.
How do you see the accordion in the current world of music?
There are many examples that can answer the question; there are Hindemith’s pieces for accordion and other musicians of the ‘900 that they give an absolute value to it. It is an instrument that requires great mastery; because of it, I relied on the experience of Giuliana Soscia, which is a “specialist ” of the accordion. She arranged the piece in the suitable timbre for the accordion. In my opinion it is an instrument that fits perfectly with a chorus of voices.
This article is available also in: Italian