Track: Canzone di Laura Betti
Artist: Stefano Battaglia
Album: Re: Pasolini
Label: ECM

Track: Pasolini
Artist: Stefano Battaglia
Album: Re: Pasolini
Label: ECM

I am not really qualified to talk about Battaglia’s music. However, one thing I know is his compositions and musicianship is awesome. Re: Pasolini is his second ECM album released in 2007. This is an album composed (apart from the track “Cosa Sono le Nuvole”) by Stefano Battaglia. He was inspired, as he states and as the title of the album suggests, on the films, poetry of Pasolini, and the characters and actors in his movies. You might also want to hear one piece from Raccolto here and my short mumbling on the same-titled track.

“Canzone di Laura Betti” is the opening track of the double-disc album. Battaglia himself refers to “Canzone” as “a song inspired by the poet’s muse: a sorrowful Marlene, the mad woman who was always right, a real Garbo, a living fossil who wore an eternal changeless mask. She not only acted in movies directed by Rosselini, Bertolucci, Monicelli, Bellocchio, Fellini and of course, many of Pasolini’s own films, but was herself also a film director, poet and singer.” Simple cello parts performed by Aya Shimura, which are accompanied with incredible trumpets played by Michael Gassman and double-bass by Salvatore Maiore… And of course great pianos by Battaglia himself. Other musicians are Mirco Mariottini on clarinets and Roberto Dani on drums.

“Pasolini” is the closing track of the album and it got me struck and stuck. Battaglia himself writes:

This is a synthesis of two different compositions: only subsequently did I realize that they were consequentially linked like two interlocked hands. The first is a simple funeral chant, imbibed with that special sense of nostalgia which is often described as ‘melancholia generosissima’. The second was inspired by the affectionate feelings conjured up by photos of Pasolini playing football. This piece evokes both the tragic voice of an outcast yet simultaneously recalls Pasolini’s contagious vitality. It was the very first chapter on my work dedicated to Pasolini. I had no idea that it would become the first of over thirty.

I am not really a fan of hearing what an artist felt (like) when he or she composed/created something – as what matters is what I feel, and this fact is pretty much exploited by commercial music industry. But Battaglia very well explains what I sensed myself. Affectionate feelings and the tragic voice conjured up in pure emotional minimalism. Simple double-basses that merge with cellos, and the merciless piano… After the crescendo-like calm-rise of cello, the beautiful ending with the beautiful piano is just so sudden, so unfair.

As Salinger’s Holden says “What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author who wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it.” Just replace book and author with music and composer/performer – and that’s what I think of Stefano Battaglia.

This post has 4 comments.

  1. irem cacık
    24 Feb 08

    hayran kaldım stefano battaglia’ya! beklediğin kadar varmış

  2. cahilperi
    09 Mar 08

    buraya kadar gelip de bunlari dinlemeden gittigimi dusunmuyorsun heralde degil mi ;)

  3. S.
    07 Feb 09
  4. Khaidir
    27 Nov 10

    penuh perasaan dan mengusik jiwa. love it!