From tango to chamber music. Interview with Cesare Chiacchiaretta

Cesare Chiacchiaretta studied with Maestro Claudio Calista at Pescara Academy of Music, graduating with highest honors at the Conservatory “N. Piccinni ” in Bari in 1995. He has held concerts in the most prestigious concert societies in Italy and abroad, both as a soloist and in various chamber ensembles. His great interest in chamber music led him to collaborate regularly with musicians thickness of Corrado Giuffredi, Lorna Windsor, Danilo Rossi, Joseph Hector, Nando Gazzolo, Arnoldo Foa, Helium, Rino Vernizzi, Massimo Mercelli and in various formations (Cuarteto del Angel, sin Palabras Trio, Quartet Mahagonny, etc.), exploring the most varied repertoires. It has always dedicated with special dedication to the music of Astor Piazzolla, which is a connoisseur. In 2006, he played under the baton of Maestro Riccardo Muti at the Teatro dell’Opera in Rome with the Orchestra Sinfonica “L. Cherubini” performing music by Nino Rota.
He teaches accordion at the Conservatory of Music “T. Schipa ” in Lecce.

When did you start playing and why?
I started whwn I was eight years old thanks to my father, a great lover of music, at a private school in my country. I remember that he was teaching in ten at the same time! It was played by ear, popular music of course. At thirteen, I decided to undertake serious studies of music and I enrolled at the Academy of Pescara, in the class of organ. I discovered that from that year was also open accordion and I had no doubts. The accordion was my instrument. So I started to attend classes with strict and talented maestro Claudio Calista. It opened a new world around me! I really became fond of the instrument and soon decided that I would be a musician.

How has it changed over the years the perception of your instrument in the collective imagination?
As a teenager I was ashamed to play the accordion. None of my classmates noticed this until I saw a certain dexterity during typing lessons in school. And there I admitted my passion. I do not say that teasing! Now those classmates have become my fans. Now the accordion is an instrument much appreciated by all thanks to the reflection of the music of Piazzolla and some of the songs in which it is often used. The sound of the accordion is no longer tied to the smooth, but it is a sound that is part of everyday life in the audience. It is now familiar to all!

How it is perceived abroad, where you have had and have many opportunities to confront?
In many countries it is still closely tied to popular music. But due to the spread of World Music this is not limiting, indeed. Regarding the “classical” accordion there is still work to do. In Italy we are not that bad thanks to the spread of some accordionists in the field of classical music. For example Brunello plays with and Battiston and Scurti has played with the Orchestra of Santa Cecilia, and we realize that it is not so mistreated. Instead in the United States, for example, is still too amateur level, as well as in Korea, or Japan. Very good over in Europe or China. In the Central Conservatory of Beijing is one of the most popular classes, as well as in Russia, although here is still part of the department of popular music, such as the balalaika and domra. So caught yes but not completely emancipated.

How does the comparison between many genres of music enriches the skills and culture of a musician?
Is important to know and learn other genres. I try to play around and try to have a much “rock” approach with the instrument. I think you have to play everything, because the market for concerts now ask you this. Even the big concert organizations have opened in most commercial situations, and the time has come for us accordionists to propose. We think of alternative instruments such as the piano can hold a solo concert and eclecticism of the various instruments. We have a great advantage to be exploited now!

The tango is often regarded as a popular genre. The bandoneon is a popular tool or caught? What is the music that suits it best, or that is better able to interpret?
Personally I do not like to play traditional tango. I prefer Astor Piazzolla. And the music of Piazzolla is now to be considered educated in most of the songs. Less perhaps “Libertango”, more in the “5 tango sensations” and “Aconcagua”.

Can you talk us about your experience in teaching?
I started in 1994 to teach. I had very good and talented students. The finest accordionists, who now is currently also the most successful, is Mario Stefano Pietrodarchi. With him we spent afternoons together to make lesson. I remember that in preparation for the World Trophy he decided to go a period to study with Jacques Mornet just fifteen days before the competition. Arrived in France, he returned after 3 days and came to prepare with me. A few weeks later he won the trophy. It was a great satisfaction.

When I contacted you answered from Seoul. Can you talk about that experience?
The Koreans are very warm and greatly appreciate the “passionate” music. They love to sing Karaoke and there are everywhere in the city. Then love Italy as well as many foreign countries. The Italian culture is a heritage and we must preserve it. When I go abroad I feel a cultural ambassador of my country and I am very happy with it.

Can you talk about the project you’re working on at the moment?
In addition to the usual duo with Giampaolo Bandini I’m working on a project with the “8 seasons Vivaldi – Piazzolla” where sound is that bandoneon accordion with violin and cello. It will be released on a disc and a short presentation is also on youtube. Also due out soon for Naxos a CD that I recorded with the Zagreb Philharmonic and Miran Vaupotic in the role of director. Instead I’m working on the accordion soloist with several programs including one exclusively devoted to Italian music. And another very important project… I’m getting married in May!

Posted by Daniele Cestellini

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