Music to see at the inauguration of Santa Cecila

A cowboy and his horse wander as if in a dream in a metaphysical place, which combines the monumental places of ancient Rome with the imagination of cinema. He is a cowboy who comes from Cinecittà, where perhaps he was a character in a western.

Cinecittà, the dream factory, with its papier-mâché scenes, the stars and the extras, the workers and the directors, is at the center of the film “Roma”, which Yuri Ancarani created by editing historical images and shooting new ones, for October 12th, extraordinary inauguration of the concert season of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia at the Ennio Morricone Music Park.

Music to see: while the film was being projected, the orchestra performed Respighi’s music dedicated to the Eternal City in almost perfect synchrony with the changes in shots: “Pines of Rome”, “Fountains of Rome” and “Roman Festivals”. As interludes between the three famous pieces, two choir compositions by Franz Liszt: “O Roma nobilis” and “Dall’alma Roma”.

Everything was performed with enthusiasm and vivid color by the orchestra and choir of the Academy under the direction of the Hungarian Iván Fischer. The applause for them was very loud from the audience, who instead was divided in their appreciation for the visual part of the show. Perhaps the artistic idea of ​​the film was too dominant compared to the freedom to imagine that belongs to each listener. As the program itself recalls regarding the “Pines of Rome”, Respighi’s intent is to “use nature as a starting point, to recall memories and visions”. The suggestion that Ancarani’s film conveys is a key to clear interpretation, belonging to the author himself, who said he wanted to create an unusual work that recalled the “legendary” of Rome.

If we combine this with the fact that the spectators’ attention was instinctively directed towards the brilliant screen and that the lights were necessarily low, overshadowing the usual and cherished panorama of musicians at the opera, it is understandable that not everyone in the audience felt harmony between what was seen and what was heard.