English | Italiano

Il contenuto di questa pagina richiede una nuova versione di Adobe Flash Player.

Scarica Adobe Flash Player

Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda (author's note)

Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda

This is not going to be an evening of opera. Neither is it a chance association of old and new, to be savored as contrasting culinary experiences. The double bill? Represents for us an indissoluble unit, designed to present to American audience an alternative approach to music-drama in the theater. This aproach has a tradition, eveb if it is exemplified in only a few works - amog them Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda. This can be certainly considered one of the most experimental works by Claudio Monteverdi, not only because of the well-known rhythmical and instrumental discoveries (the fast, reiterated notes which will later develop into the standard string ‚Äútremolo‚ÄĚ, the ‚Äúpizzicato‚ÄĚ and the establishment of a unified instrumental ensemble which will later become the ‚Äústring orchestra‚ÄĚ) but alse because of the idea of music and dramatic representation as a rapid, discontinuous and highly contrasted sequence of situations and attitudes. Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda defies usual classification: it is an opera but also a madrigale rappresentativo, a ballet but also a cantata, a documentary, a piece of news reel but also a ‚Äúhappening‚ÄĚ for the XVII Century aristocracy in Venice. With a rigorous economy of means it proposes a type of dramaturgy that will not find its true raison d‚Äôa√™tre until three centuries later in certain aspects of Brecht‚Äôs epic theater (truly, Monteverdi‚Äôs narrator is helping the public to scrutinize and interpret facts as they happen), in Stravinsky‚Äôs chamber theater (Mainly Historie du Soldat), in the representational research and developmnts of the Twenties at the Donaueschingen and Baden Baden Festivals (Milhaud, Hindemith, eill etc.) and in the most recent developments of musical theater, as distinct from opera, in the works of Pousseur, Kagel, Bussotti and Berio himself.
These, briefly, are the considerations that have guided the present production of Monteverdi’s work. A special relevance is given to projections of visual material produced at the Carpenter Center for Visual Arts of Harvard University. There projectaions, which will be used alternately to support and to undercut narration, are based mainly on a large number of fornal, textural and chromatic analysis of a VII Century BC mosaic (La battaglia di Isso, Naples) done by group of students of the Carpenter Center. Through this analysis the theme of war is constantly developed and transposed.
Prof. Nino Pirrotta writes: ‚ÄúII combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda‚ÄĚ belongs to the halo of drammatic genres surrounding the rise of opera. Although its score records that the ‚Äúduel had ben mimed ant the original performance in the Mocenigo palace in Venice (ca 1626) its inclusion among Monteverdi‚Äôs Madrigali amorosi e guerrieri, his 8th book of Madrigals (1638), indicates the legitimacy of a performance in which, to use the words of a contemporary, the action is ‚Äúseen by the mind, to which it arrives through the ear, not through the eye ‚Äúseen by the mind, to which were not above modifyng Tasso‚Äôs text, yet maintained its narrative form, refraining from a full dramatization. Thus the poets comments are preserved on the remoteness of place and obscurity of night that take away any luster of glory from the two warriors, reducing their duel to a blind progression of fury and angered reprisal. The latter aspect gives ample opportunity to the musician to display his ‚Äústile concitato‚ÄĚ, the name he gave to the extreme development of the recitativo style required by the expression of the most violent passions, on which the end descends with the self-inflicted defeat of the victor, and, in a certain sense, the apotheosis of the looser.‚ÄĚ
This work was edited by L. Berio and kept as close as possible to the original conventions of performance and scoring: three violas, cello and basso continuo, Tenor (Narrator), Soprano (Clorinda), Baritone (Tancredi). It will be sung in the original Italian; therefore, a short spoken prologue in English, written by I. Strasfogel, will introduce the work reminding the audience il Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda is a war story, placed in a time not unlike our own ‚Äď the Crusades ‚Äď when the East was ravaged by the West in the name of a cause more noble than war.

Luciano Berio