ANIMAL TALES AND SONGS a Taipei

Nuovo look taiwanese per il programma animalesco del Duo Alterno, questa volta con un divertentissimo brano di Ada Gentile dedicato al Duo su testi di Sandro Cappelletto. Il concerto è alla Fu Jen Catholic University di Taipei in collaborazione con l’Ufficio Italiano di Promozione Economica Comerciale e Culturale di Taipei il 14 novembre 2023. Si tratta della prima tournèe del Duo Alterno in Taiwan.

Animal Tales and Songs is a concert program created by the Duo Alterno, which always takes on new surprising forms around the theme of animals and ecology in music. From Rossini to today, we can discover an impressive variety of pieces that composers have dedicated to animals. Often the reference has nuances that refer to ecological problems and, in all cases, the attention to animal tales is notable even in composers from whom one would least expect it. Among these Alfredo Casella who, born in Turin and educated in Paris, wrote in 1923 the neoclassical Quattro favole romanesche on the hilarious dialectal texts of Trilussa which speak of crocodiles, fleas, cats and dogs, while Erik Satie and Francis Poulenc (the latter on Apollinaire’s quintessential texts) turn with a lighter smile to feeble dogs, dromedaries swaying in the desert, geese with philosophical wisdom, carp with long silent lives… Eco logico is instead a work recently composed by Riccardo Piacentini on the echoing verses of an “historical” goose that has inhabited one of the canals in Padua for almost two decades, and is a work inspired by the “poetics of photo-sounds” that the Turin composer has been promoting for years through his own works and those of his students of Milan Conservatory. The pieces by the two women composers Ada Gentile and Cathy Berberian are both inspired by comics and capture, the first one, the voice of Betty Boop’s dog and, the other one, a lot of animals from a to z, including cows, mice, mosquitoes, pigs… always with very tasty irony. And Rossini? Rossini is present with two iconic pieces, of which the final one is the witty Duetto buffo di due gatti, here revisited by the Duo Alterno in a version where the pianist not only plays but also sings; while the unforgettable Memento homo from Péchés de vieillesse is strategically placed at the center of the program, a perfect “memento” on the human condition which in fact shares many aspects with the animal world and indeed not always the best ones.

Animal Tales and Songs

In order of appearance:
crocodiles, fleas, cats, dogs, dromedaries, goats, grasshoppers, dolphins, crayfish, carp, men, dogs again, geese and cookoos, pigs, cows, mice and mosquitoes, again cats… all in music!

Alfredo Casella
From “Quattro favole romanesche” (1923)

– Er coccodrillo [Crocodile]
– La carità [Fleas]
– Er gatto e er cane [Cats and dogs]
(texts by Trilussa)

Erik Satie
Préludes flasques pour un chien (1912, rev. 2020) [Dogs]

for piano

Francis Poulenc
Le bestiaire, ou Cortège d’Orphée (1919)

I. Le dromadaire [Dromedaries]
II. Le chèvre du Thibet [Goats]
III. La sauterelle [Grasshoppers]
IV. Le dauphin [Dolphins]
V. L’écrevisse [Crayfish]
VI. La carpe [Carp]
(texts by Guillaume Apollinaire)

Gioachino Rossini
Memento Homo [Men]

(from “Péchés de vieillesse”, 1857-1868)

Ada Gentile
Come passa la giornata Betty Boop
[Betty Boop’s daytime] (2006) [Again dogs]

I. I pensieri di Betty Boop [Betty Boop’s thoughts]
II. A passeggio con Boby [A walk with Boby]
III. Giocando a palla [Playing with a ball]
IV. Lezione di solfeggio [Solfeggio lesson]
V. Pattinando sul ghiaccio [Skating on ice]
VI. A scuola di ballo [Dance school]:
– A tempo di valzer [Waltz time]
– American rock
Dedicated to Duo Alterno
(texts by Sandro Cappelletto, English version by Anna Lisa Deidda)

Riccardo Piacentini
Eco logico (2023) [Geese and cookoos]

for piano and “foto-suoni” (soundscape recordings made and “com-posed” by the composer)

Cathy Berberian
Stripsody (1966) [Pigs, cows, mice and mosquitoes]
for voice on cartoons by Roberto Zamarin

Gioachino Rossini
Duetto buffo di due gatti (1825, rev. 2022) [Again cats]

for voices and piano
Version revisited by the Duo Alterno