Mantua’s chamber orchestra was born on the 18th June 1981. About 10 students and their teachers from the music conservatory decided that it would be far better to keep playing in Mantua rather than having to move to nearby cities. So, from nothing, the seedling was born of an orchestra which would go on to feature as many as 60/70 elements. But, are we sure that the orchestra was born out of nothing? Or rather, Mantova already had all the elements to support this formation?
A little history might help in these circumstances. Our city, insular for centuries, small and surrounded by waters, of a scarily beautiful architecture, has always been the cradle of musical experiments. Our Duke Guglielmo Gonzaga was a fine musician who built an acoustically superb church with excellent musicians since the renaissance. Then, melodrama was born with Monteverdi’s Orpheus and the development of little and big theatres. In all probability it was here that Vivaldi composed the four seasons, and the road connecting Venice to Milan via Mantua and Cremona was the lute manufacturing capital of the world. A young Mozart came to inaugurate the Bibiena theatre. And today, the international chamber music festival Trame Sonore. The city resounds, a perfectly apt slogan!
Maestro Carlo Fabiano, who has inspired this initiative, kicks off this interview with an anecdote: he woke up early to talk about this festival which is the envy of the world. He met at 7 am with a group of entrepreneurs. He moans about never having enough time at his disposal to organise the festival, but the glimmer in his eyes shows immense satisfaction. He set this all up, and the next chapter will be written by the excellence of the musicians who flock here from around the world, to take part in a unique musical event.
It is the city that makes the difference: framed by river water which surrounds an intricate pattern of streets, piazzas and magnificent buildings all reachable in a few minutes’ walk. No other city has these historical and physical characteristics: only here chambers and living rooms can come alive with sound and overcome the spectator with emotions: a unique stage. Which this year also features a Hausmusic project: private stately homes open their doors to a bunch of musicians. In fact, chamber music was born to execute simple musical scores for just a few musicians, two to eight. The composer would test an idea in front of a small audience, then he would maybe expand it into a more complex symphony.
Through the research and discovery of the best venues, Fabiano says, we look to valorise chamber music and aim to offer the chance to visit our city through an acoustic experience – we give music the responsibility to reinvent itself to serve the modern day needs, and to be accessible to everyone through short concerts..
Those young musicians who founded that small musical ensemble in 1981 are now established musicians who have taken music around the world. Today, that music comes back to Mantua.
by Mara Pasetti
“Trame Sonore” Mantova Chamber Music Festival / 30th May to 30th June 2018 – chamber music becomes queen in Gonzaga’s city.
Info —> http://www.mantovachamber.com/edizione-2018/