La nuova avventura di Theresia e Claudio Astronio

By Emilia Campagna

October 12, 2015

Su questa pagina potete ascoltare l’intervista in italiano che abbiamo fatto a Claudio Astronio nel primo giorno dello stage a Lodi, oppure leggere la traduzione in inglese.
In this post you can listen to the interview with Claudio Astronio (in italian) or read it in the english version. Enjoy it!

Lodi, 10th October: we are meeting Claudio Astronio, permanent conductor of Theresia Youth Baroque Orchestra, in the first day of the stage in Lodi: the orchestra is studying for a very special and particular project. As a matter of fact, the orchestra is expected not only to perform a music selection from “Zoroastre” by Jean-Philippe Rameau, but mostly to perform them in a real movie set; the film sequences will merge into a “film-concerto” directed by Gianni di Capua.
First of all let’s talk about the music: “Zoroastre” is considered one of the most important works by Rameau. Can you tell us something about this opera?
“The music is enchanting and complex: this is the first opera in which Rameau goes beyond the clichés of his time. The opera is fulfilled with masonic themes, and for this reason the relationship between words and music is very particular and needs to be studied in depth, with huge focus and intensity. Obviously we will not perform the entire opera, but we tried to keep in our selection the focus on the dramaturgy, condensing into an hour of music what was needed in order to preserve the original plot.”
For the very first time Theresia will perform with singers. From your point of view, as permanent conductor of a youth orchestra, what does this represent in your work with those young musicians?
“It’s a new experience, and this is very important. As concern my musical activity I frequently work with singers, but in these years Theresia has been devoted mostly to classic symphonic repertoire. In this occasion we have a dual novelty: not only working with singers, but also working with singers in such a particular context which involves a video shooting, which requires focus also on the spectacular dimension; this represents a double challenge.”
Let’s talk about the video shooting: Gianni Di Capua, the movie’s director, in his interview explained that the concert itself will be a movie set. How does it affect your work? Do you have special recommendations for your musicians?
“From a certain point of view it does change the work we are doing. Music doesn’t change, of course, and we are going to perform it to the best of our possibilities, with or without the cameras. But it is obvious that certain details – that in concert nobody sees and nobody looks at – become poignant and significant: I’m thinking, for example, about the act of turning pages, or putting down the bow; moving, but also staying still takes on a relevance that it normally doesn’t have. In orchestra some musicians do not have to play in one o more pieces: the will have to be very self controlled while they are not performing, while in normal concerts those would be relaxing moments.”
In your opinion how are Theresia musicians facing this particular perspective?
“Very well. They are all very interested and thrilled. I think that the most challenging thing is actually the music itself. In certain points this music has a high level of complexity, mostly due to time changes and to difficulties related to aleatory and almost improvisational dimension. In two days, as we meet the singers, we’ll understand if much more work has to be done.”
You have been permanent conductor of Theresia Youth Baroque Orchestra since 2012, when it was founded. In balance, which are the things you are more satisfied of, and which are the tasks you would like to work on in the next future?
I can say only positive things about Theresia: the project started on the right foot and has been getting better in these years. Quality (good from the beginning) is increasing: in these two years I have been working both with musicians which have done almost all the productions, both with “new” ones and I realized that from one time to another the work done together has not been lost: new components become part of our world, our way of making music, with no difficulties. For those reasons I’m absolutely happy of these years and I hope things continue going on like that. From a personal point of view, when I’m not conducting Theresia my work is devoted mainly to early music; with this orchestra I had the chance to perform music I had not played before, like symphonies and other orchestral works by Joseph Martin Kraus, whose music is marvelous and rarely performed, and at the limit with respect to the historically informed performance practice: it’s a field I like to explore, probably because “Sturm und drang” is in my comfort zone, I really love it.”


[row padding_top=”” padding_bottom=”” bg=”” bg_light=”true” appear=”false”] [column size=”1-2″ appear=”false”]Gli inserti musicali contenuti dell’intervista sono tratti da:
J. P. Rameau, Zoroastre (un momento delle prove)
J. M. Kraus, Sinfonia VB 141 – Terzo movimento (dal cd “Live in Bolzano”)
[/column] [column size=”1-2″ appear=”false”]The musical clips you can hear during the interview come from:
J. P. Rameau, Zoroastre (rehearsals)
J. M. Kraus, Symphony VB 141 – Third movement (from the cd “Live in Bolzano”)

[/column] [/row]

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Emilia Campagna

About Emilia Campagna

Journalist and musician, Emilia is a blogger for Theresia