Via Toledo - Music of the Streets
This was perhaps the most interesting concert of the Festival. Given amidst the pseudo-baroque decorations of the Gosser Saal(at the right) in the Mozarteum, the church and conservatories gave way to music that had grown from the streets of Naples and the surrounding countryside. Six men sat in a semi-circle, some with baroque guitars, others with lutes and one with two tambourines and a boron drum; another stood at a combination portive organ and harpsichord. A tambourine rattled and then a single voice - Italian actor and singer Giuseppe Di Vittorio - rose in a passionate love cry - Cori miu (My Heart.) Marco Beasley, De Vittorio, Guido Morini and Accordone joined forces to present an exciting programme of tarantellas, love songs and working songs from the Medieval to the modern.
Beasley is a short stocky bald man, he looks like he could be a Neapolitan dock worker. The son of an English father and a Neapolitan mother, he’s devoted his career to the music of his native city in all its forms - classical, church, folk. He has a powerful tenor voice and a commanding presence but remains firmly grounded on and of the earth. De Vittorio is tall, craggy and handsome in a world-beaten way – when he stands eyes closed, head thrown back, hands held in an almost priestly manner he embodies all the raw passion and sexuality of the south.
The instrumentalists occasionally rose to join in song or to add percussive vocal effects. When not singing Beasley or Di Vittorio would pick up the rhythm with bone castanets. Percussionist Mauro Durante took centre stage and stopped the show with a solo that was worthy of Gene Krupa except he did it all with one large tambourine not a trap set.
The 60 minutes programme flew by – often one number leading into another without break – but the sold-out audience called them back for three encores before they were willing to let them go, gather up their belongings and head out for Mother’s Day brunch.
And again here'a bit of what we heard: Marco Beasely and Accordone doing a tarantala:
They are scheduled back for next year's Festival with a programme tantalizingly titled The Temptation of Evil!
As a sidebar Laurent and I came away with four CDs by the various artists involved and there are at least two more I'm planning on getting.
18 maggio - Santi Trinità