2019, my 78th

Even if nowadays being 78 years old (as I am since November 16th) is not very uncommon, I feel I have to begin this short summary of my 2019 with thanking God. He allowed me to remain in this world, and of course I feel I have to justify my presence here with explaining how I tried not to be useless to my fellows. Composing is clearly my best. I was not “a prolific composer” on 2019, but you know, it is extremely difficult to create something new whilst you are getting older. Firstly, I completed a “Trittico da San Luca/ A Tryptich after st Luke” of which the preceding year I had written two items. Then, I decided to face with an undertaking which I thought of for many years, without feeling up to the challenge: writing a work for expressing my lifelong love for the “Recherche”, which I have read, from the first to the last of its 3000 pages, four times, in different ages. I finally composed “Les beaux jours/Sonatine pur guitare écrite en souvenir de Marcel Proust”, and God knows what a victory on my limits this three movement represents.

Then, I wrote two more pieces in one single movement: “Epifanias” (title in Spanish) and “Odysseus”. This latter is a sort of homage to the great Italian poet Umberto Saba.I had the privilege of attendig the premiere of “Les beaux jours” at Alessandria Conservatory on September 26th. I went back to the school where I was a professor (now a professor emeritus) as a common concert listener and I felt touched by the regard the organizer gave to me, reserving all one row of the hall for me, my son and some famous guitarists such as Olivier Chassain, Fabio Zanon and Frédéric Zigante. The young Italian guitarist Andrea De Vitis offered a gorgeous first performance of the Sonatine, of which he is the dedicatee. Unfortunately – due to some health problems – I had been unable, on August 7th, to travel to Trevi, where José Antonio Escobar offered to an audience of 250 guitarists – students and their teachers – a magnificent premiere of my “Sonatina de Valparaiso”. I listened to it from a video which my dear friend Lucio Matarazzo sent me shortly after the event and – what to tell about the quality of such an interpretation? My words are too little a recognition for the art of this outstanding artist, who inspired me to composed the work a few years earlier.Another premiere of my music which I could not attend was given more recently by the stellar Polish guitarist Lukasz Kuropaczewski who, since last November, started with including in his recitals the first of the three pieces of the Trittico, entitled “Benedictus”: Lukasz, with his performances, flies much above my praises, he is really a great interpreter not only among guitarists, but in absolute among all categories of virtuosi. Lately, on the very day of Mexican revolution, November 20th, the young guitarist Carlos Rubio premiered my five movement Suite entitled “Pueblo magicos” in a concer organized by the Escuela Superior de Musica de INBAL (Mexico City) under the auspices of Professor José Francisco Gomez. I felt impressed by this event from several viewpoint: the prestige of the occasion, the quality of the performance and the magnificent auditorium which hosted the concert (what a pity having been enabled to watch at the event only by a video and not in flesh and bones).These premieres are to be added to the hundreds performances of my works that took place during this year: I can say that no day of 2019 passed without having a piece of mine (at least) resonating in some place in this world. Also several new recordings of my works have been produced during 2019: Alberto Mesirca offered a shining first recording of my Sonata “Lettere a Fryderyk” – to be released on the next year -, Marcello De Carolis recorded with most fine performers the “Concerto di Matera” for “battente” guitar and ten instruments (a forthcoming release) and Andrea Corongiu recorded “Sonata del Guadalquivir” (already available).Besides my efforts as a composer, I spent thousands hours with preparing as an editor the publication of Grandfather Mario (Castelnuovo-Tedesco) in the series devoted to his music by Edizioni Curci. Chamber music, songs for voice and piano, piano pieces…What a flowery garden! I am still learning – when copying his music – daily lessons of counterpoint, harmony and music forms.This year I took also a step which I had in my mind since five years. I wrote and published a book about the art and the life of a great painter of my town, died in the first World War (1917) when ha was only 36 years old. This book, entitled “L’arco nel buio/Storia del pittore Umberto Ravello” was presented here in Vercelli on November 15th. I do not aim to be considered a writer, but I am ready to use my pen when I believe that it is needed for enligthening some hidden artist. This was a case!What to add? My health shows some strecht marks and I have been prevented by doctors to travel. So please, if you want to invite me, consider that on 2020 I will hardly be capable of taking a plane or a train. I do not complain this situation: 78 years spent working like a mad call for a price…Ciao to all my FB friends.

n the list of the first recordings of my music of this year 2019 I missed adding one which I am especially fond of, Cristiano Porqueddu interpretation of the Suite I wrote for and dedicated to him, entitled “Sardegna” (his homeland). I did not dare to include it in my list because I was not sure of having a permission for doing that, due to the fact that his public performances and recordings of this work are a part of a project sponsored under the rules of a protocol I do not know. Now I am sure I can do such an addition with no inconvenient. Here it is: