Festival delle Nazioni dedicated to Armenia came to an end

Marco Polo - Ara Malikian and Luis Gallo at Festival delle Nazioni 2014 | © Erica Andreini Photo

Festival delle Nazioni could not better celebrate the 200th anniversary of Adolphe Sax, the inventor of the instrument​​, than by commemorating the anniversary at the ​4​7th annual festival, which this year was dedicated to Armenia. On the stage of the Church of San Domenico, Federico Mondelci​ ​accompanied by the “Virtuosi Italiani”, showed the many abilities of the sax by playing Hayr Sourb by Makar Ekmalyan, the Concerto for the alto Saxophoneand string orchestra op.109, by Glazunov and, as encore, the Pequena Czarda by Pedro Iturralde. Mondelci, who for ages has been embracing the conductor carreer, conducted the Virtuosi Italiani in the Six melodies by Komitas, in the ​Preludio and Scherzo by Sostakovic and in a Suite for string orchestra by Aram Kachaturian, which ended with the well-known Sabre Dance from Gayaneh. 

The 7th day of the Festival delle Nazioni included a number of events throuout the day. The Marco Polo show was performed at the Church of San Domenico. Ara Malikian and Luis Gallo made sute that the children and their families enjoyed the show as they performed with the pupils of the local School of Music “G. Puccini” and of the School “D.Alighieri” in Città di Castello. The protagonists of the show in the evening, in addition to the unrestrained Ara and Luis, were the actor Flavio Albanese and the projections of Gosha Ljahoveckij, which accompanied the public among the Venice canals, at the top of the Mount Ararat and under the sky of Cambaluc. The evening continued with Tifernauti, who transformed the Cloister of San Domenico with a show of projections.

The 8th day of the Festival delle Nazioni, hosted the concert of the Akn Ensemble at the Oratory of San Crescentino in Morra; the ensemble from Paris conducted by Aram Kerovpyan performed to the audience at the church frescoed by Luca Signorelli, some examples of Armenian liturgical songs, as performed according to the tradition, nowadays almost perished in Armenia. The concert was introduced by Minas Lourian, director of the “Centre for Study and Documentation of the Armenian Culture” in Venice. In the evening, Anghiari at the Teatro dei Ricomposti, the winners of the European Contest for Operatic Singers of the Teatro Lirico Sperimentale “A. Belli” in Spoleto, performed a program of arias, which together with the more traditional and beloved repertoire, accompanied some pieces of rare interpretation linked to the guest nation of the 47th edition of the festival such as: Quattro liriche su testi armeni by Ottorino Respighi and the traditional Armenian songs Hov arek and Garun arranged by Komitas.

On the last day of the festival, in the beautiful Church of S. Francesco in Umbertide, the Umbrian Ensemble “Umbra Lucis” together with Virginia Pattie Kerovpyan who specialises in Armenian liturgical songs, performed Tarantelle, Antidoti, Inni, Passacagli and Canzonette; pieces which underlined the therapeutic role of the music, known and practiced for ages in the most various cultural contexts. In the evening, the Church of San Domenico in Città di Castello hosted Mario Brunello. This year the cellist offered a sort of meditation about Armenia, accompanied by the essayist Gabriella Caramore. Together they led the public through a musical path narrated on the voices which gave sound to the silence that sorrounds the Armenian history. Beside the words of Armin Wegner, Vasilij Grossoman, Osip Mandel’štam read by Gabriella Caramore, Brunello played music by Max Reger, Ahmed Adnan Saygun and by the Armenian composer Vache SharafyanIn the end an Armenian song sounded from the strings of Brunello’s cello.

Photo credit: © Erica Andreini