A quiet, hardworking 2017


A bit in advance, as usual, a summary of my work on 2017 – the 76th year of my life. I have not been “a prolific composer” this year, but a careful one. Three solo guitar pieces (“Angelus”, “Monte di Procida”, “Santuario”), a duo (“Albero solitario”) and, recently, the short trio for Flute, Viola and Guitar which David Norton generously ordered to me as a homage to the memory of our friend Matanya: “Endless sky”. Not a plentiful harvest, but – I hope – a good one in quality. The solo guitar and the duo pieces have been written for – and dedicated to – very young performers. This is a conscious choice: they represent the future and, as an old man, I believe that they should be made responsible of the destiny of the classical guitar music.

What else did I write? Well, the biography of Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, currently under print. It is entitled: “Un fiorentino a Beverly Hills” and it will be released by Edizioni Curci at the beginning of 2018. I am very fond of this book!

What especially impressed me among the news I received about the performances of my music? Well, the first mention goes to the CD produced by the Conservatorio of Avellino and its orchestra at the orders of Massimo Testa: they “accompanied” (so as to unproperly say…) Aniello Desiderio and Lucio Matarazzo in the recording of my “Concerto del Sepeithos” for two guitars and orchestra – one my my strongest works, I suppose – and, to fill the program the tho virtuosos added a recording of a Sonata for two guitars (Riviera di Chiaia) which I wrote for them. An impressive audition altogether. Aniello recorded also four of my “Studi di virtuosità e di trascendenza” in a CD entitled “Nocturnal” (including of course you know what, from such a title), and this has been the first time that the great Italian guitarist showed an active attention to my music: in itself, quite an achievement for me. Also my chamber music has received attention from very good performers: to mention just one of them, which especially impressed me, the American flutist Laurel Zucker who, in duo with the guitarist Mark Delpriora, made a splendid recording of my Sonata for flute and guitar. In the area of live performances, I was very pleased to see Cristiano Porqueddu successful debut at the Carnegie Hall with the second half of this program entirely devoted to my music: I will never find words to greet the dedication of this exceptional nterpreter to my output. Neither could I miss a warm acknowledgement to the steady attention payed by the outstanding young maestro Alberto Mesirca, who never misses one or more pieces of mine in his many recitals, and the same I should say of Angelo Marchese. But I am afraid that attempting to write a list of interpreter’s names would earn my the guilt of missing some of them…A big thankyou to all of them is equally sincere and less dangerous.

As an editor and scholar, I was engaged in the publication of several works by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (no guitar involved). It is a hard task indeed. I took also care of helping a few young friends in moving some steps forward in composition: Kevin Swierkosz-Lenart, Oscar Bellomo, Alberto Mariani…

Am I able to take a bit of care of myself? On August, I stopped all my endeavors and I spent two weeks in Sicily, at Trappeto – a village which I immensely like. In the photo, the sea of Golfo di Castellammare (Trappeto), with my son, Alessandro.

The forthcoming 2018 seems full of promises. I thank God and my friends. The Sun Also rises.

I found a way to add to the rather thin catalogue of the works I wrote during 2017, this last piece for guitar. It was suggested to me after a renewed reading of the cycle entitled “La Serra” by Mario Barbieri (thanks to Angelo Marchese and Giovanni Cestino for recollecting it). The piece is entitled in Spanish because it fills the request of a young Mexican guitarists who payed me in advance with an irresistible gift: a magnificent orchid, which he sent me some months ago, and which I entrusted to the cares of Mrs Maria Silvia – this is why it is yet perfectly alive. This young guitarist is also an experienced and dedicated flower grower. Now, we are even.