One week of great music with the “Sound of Salento landscape”
Founded at only 23 years old by the pianist Beatrice Rana, leading pianist in the international music scenario of today, Classiche Forme meant since the beginning art music in the beauty and the nature with international artists, most of them young, to informally put to music the most beautiful places of the native Lecce, which was meanwhile becoming a reference point to the most curious and cosmopolitan tourism.
Friendly, cosy festival, simple in its form but sophisticated in its contents, open to the world, original and innovative, not only is Classiche Forme today an artistic circle and a landing place for great talents, but, it also becomes the true intangible work of art which opens a window on the world for one week to create the “Sound of Salento landscape”, longstanding dream of Beatrice Rana for her homeland. This also thanks to the growth of Classiche Forme and its openness to new contributions from the local entrepreneurial excellence, such as the collaboration with the historical shoe factory for celebrities Elata for the commission of contemporary repertoire.
The thirteen events of Classiche Forme 2023 will take place during one week in the most beautiful places in Lecce. This year, for the first time, music will be also enjoyed from the sky, in the night concerts in the hanging gardens of the Accademia di Belle Arti, of the City Walls, important example of sixteenth-century defensive walls, built under the emperor Charles V to contain the turkish invasions, and of Palazzo Maresgallo, historical palace and sixteenth-century architectural treasure in the heart of Lecce.
This year, the events will be also extended to venues in other three towns of Salento, including the beautiful Basilica di Santa Caterina d’Alessandria in Galatina, fourteenth-century gothic masterpiece whose origins recall the fairy oriental tastes of the Crusades, or the historical town of Casarano, meeting point of cultures since the Byzantine era, in its modern Teatro Fondazione Filograna, where the new commission of Classiche Forme 2023 to the Apulian composer Domenico Turi will be premiered for the 100 years of Elata, historic footwear company from Salento, which charmed Hollywood stars such as the Academy Award Anne Hathaway, Sophia Loren and Penelope Cruz with its handmade dedication.
On top of that, there will be the longstanding treasures, such as the arcadian Masseria Le Stanzie, the Chiostro del Rettorato in Lecce or the Oasi of Classiche Forme inside Parco di Belloluogo, a symbol of the love for nature, inhabited by the young trees offered by the Festival and named after the homonymous and precious fourteenth-century Tower which was historical residence of the queen Mary of Enghien and represents one of the few evidences of Salento Middle Ages.
As in the past editions, together with the founder and artistic director Beatrice Rana, there will be some of the biggest names of the international musical world, in original ensembles created exclusively for the occasion in accordance to the spirit of creativity of the Festival. Beatrice Rana’s dream team of what can be undoubtedly defined as the youngest European Festival will be enriched by the presence of some of the best emerging talents coming from schools of absolute excellence.
In the artistic and natural wonders of Lecce it will be possible to listen to pages of great interest but rarely performed. In the inaugural concert Respighi’s chamber music, expression of the early Italian twentieth century still waiting to be rediscovered, will be paired with the coeval Russian composer Anton Arensky, recalling the cultural and artistic milieu of the time Respighi spent in Russia at the beginning of his career. Most of all, following the words of Beatrice Rana, “letting us listen to wonderful music”.
Other highlights of the Festival include the most rare Suite Italienne for two piccolo cellos and two cellos performed by the two most renowned Italian cellists in the world, Giovanni Sollima and Mario Brunello, in a programme which extends from the Queen to Verdi’s Traviata transcribed for cello piccolo and cello by Antonio Melchiori in the nineteenth-century, from the fifteenth-century Antonio Bertali to Sollima’s own compositions, with digressions into the Roman Baroque of Costanzi, Bach and Stravinsky. The outstanding level of the performers, their common passion for cello and ‘piccolo’, of which they are true ambassadors, their research for original venues for music performances, their love for nature will make this event in the Masseria Le Stanzie, epitome of the farm culture of Salento, one of the unmissable moments of Classiche Forme.
Not to be missed also the Goldberg Variations transcribed for string trio by the Russian violinist Dimitry Sitkovesky performed by the Teyber Trio, a very young ensemble of absolute excellence formed by violinist Tim Crawford, cellist Tim Posner and violist Timothy Ridout, a true all-stars ensemble born from the human and artistic alchemy of the Festival, as well as many others events in the programme.
During the Festival it will be also possible to follow, night by night, the series dedicated to Rachmaninov for the 150th anniversary of his birth and to Poulenc for the 60 years from his death.
To conclude the Festival, a great chamber music concert in three parts will take place on 23rd July. Conceived by Beatrice Rana in accordance to the programmes of the early 20th century, an era when the work of art was not mechanically reproducible and the desire for live music was so strong to demand true musical marathons, the concert will take place at the Chiostro del Rettorato and will display Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances for two pianos, a second part including Schubert, Liszt and Rachmaninov’s Vocalise, concluding to Saint-Saëns’s Carnival of the Animals.