Wednesday, 18 January 2012

How to Speak Italian

  Capitano Gregorio de Falco telling the captain of the Concordia the difference between honour and dishonour  as he orders him back to his duty is exraordinary to listen to.

A Musician comments on the  previous post:

Dramatic text, eloquence of speech, impeccable pronounciation, force of delivery, variety in the speed of delivery to underline important moments, even beauty of tone: Capitain de Falco's call to Schettino contains all the ideals so dear to Count Bardi and the Florentine Camerata who aimed to restore the supremacy of speech over music, as in Greek tragedy, at the beginning of the 17th century.
Monteverdi developed the Genere Rappresentativo, more specifically recitar cantando (although there was not much variety in Capt. de Falco's tone so cannot really be called singing, still), taking it to great heights; there are moments when Capt. de Falco is reminiscent of Testo in the Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda ("Salga a bordo..."), although of course he doesn't have the continuo instruments backing him.

Capitain de Falco gave the performance of a lifetime and he knew it ("Schettino sto registrando...").

For those who still haven't seen it this is the link with subtitles:

The text and interpretation are improvised, as is fitting with the style. His extraordinary performance has moved the whole of Italy: he is now being  hailed as a national hero.
18 January 2012 09:26


a musician said...

As in the last minute or so of this:

it's about speech, not melody (the singer only sing 2 notes, it's the instruments that go wild around him for effect)

hatfield girl said...

From 8 minutes 20 on or so.

Extraordinary - either they were assimilating and reprojecting the speech patterns, or Italians are reflecting their art in heightened speech circumstances.

But now you've done it. Bang goes the afternoon listening to Tancredi.

I've taken out some scrumptious dried apricots left over from Christmas, couple of oak logs on the fire, pot of jasmine tea, blue velvet armchair....

a musician said...

Part two is here:

it's a good version (if a bit slow in parts). But good singers (doing their best to do what Capt. de Falco was doing so naturally...)

check out the stanza from 2.45 or so

a musician said...

now you can even buy the t-shirt:

Jeff Wood said...

So, Captain and First Officer do a bunk together at a very early stage. No wonder Di Falco wants Schettino's guts for garters.

I have just enough Italiano to have a little appreciation of Di Falco's performance, and his clarity and power of command. Next time I am in serious bother, I want him on my side.

Last time I was in Livorno, I spent a little time on the quayside at the Coastguard harbour. It was obvious the place worked, and well.

Having seen the T-shirt, I must replay the recording. Did he really say Cazzo?

hatfield girl said...

He did, Jeff. Mr HG looked up from his lunch and asked "Did he say..?"

It seems to be a word that carries multiple insults depending on circumstances and intonation. In English we would use a variety of different words but in Italian they do ornaments above an air.

I am under orders not to try.