Review for youth and school choir ‘Corinfesta’


Article published on  Farcoro

For the second year in a row I welcomed the welcome invitation by Luca Buzzavi to attend the beautiful exhibition dedicated to the “Corinfesta” Youth and School Choirs, promoted by AERCO and the “C.G.Andreoli” School of Mirandola and now in its seventh edition.
Arrived in Mirandola well in advance, I had the opportunity to visit the new school structure anti-seismic, designed and built after the earthquake that hit our Emilia in 2012.
The building that contains the School “C.G.Andreoli”, is considered a real jewel of its kind, with soundproof rooms, well-preserved instruments, an adjoining music library and a large common area. Within the latter was the afternoon snack, prepared, with care and love, by the parents of young choristers and students.
In this convivial moment a family atmosphere of great serenity, sociability, communion and fraternal love has “breathed”.
Walking through the long corridor of the school I observed a person who was staring at the wall beautiful black and white photos, vaguely Fellini’s colors.

Within each of these photos, flashes of scholastic life were gathered and immortalized emotions and feelings, which seemed to really come to life.

We come now to the concert held in the multiplex “Rita Levi Montalcini” located a little outside the center of Mirandola.
The very original structure, not born for music, would require an intervention to improve the acoustic propagation of sound.
The insertion behind the stage of a wooden acoustic chamber, in particular in fir, could help to improve, considerably, the acoustics itself and the consequent listening, at the moment, greatly penalized; in particular in the lateral areas.

During the evening, presented by Silvia Biasini with vivacity and enthusiasm, four youth choral ensembles were involved in very varied and engaging repertoires.
The evening opened the “Piccolo Coro della Scuola Dante Alighieri” directed by Mirandola, with a simple, synthetic and effective gesture, by Gianni Guicciardi, who faced four challenging choral compositions, written with taste by the director himself and taken from the scenic musical project ” Adventure “on texts by E.Razzaboni.
Within these compositions echoed, vaguely, the theatrical character of “Wir Bauen Eine Stadt” work of 1930 by P. Hindemith (1895-1963).
Good the general assembly and the vocality of the group, while improvable, the intonation and the expressiveness.
Overall, the sound, which I would call “black and white”, was also very accurate in the high register of the voices, the real “Achilles’ heel” of the youth groups.
The vocality is also convincing even in the severe range of the vocal register, in which the sound of the “Piccolo Coro” is compact and full of harmonics.
The singers have shown that they have absorbed the lesson of Guicciardi, who asked his young choristers a remarkable intensity and soundproofing, useful to strengthen the musical writing that I would call madrigalistica, even with a language very adherent to Italian light music.
The only sore point is the use of pre-recorded sound bases, which although comfortable, have penalized, a little, the interpretative freedom of the conductor and the choristers themselves.

The “Aurora” chorus of white voices was performed, directed with personality and inspiration by Luca Buzzavi and accompanied on the piano, with taste and professionalism, by Velislava Stefanova.
The choral team has been engaged in a very complex repertoire, in which “Cuckoo!” Of
B. Britten (1913-1976) and “Gruss” by F. Mendelssohn (1809-1847), in addition to the demanding “Festive Sanctus” by A. Bernardelli (1964), winner of the First Prize at the first edition (2017) of the “Corinfesta” International Composition Competition for white voices.

With the choice of this complex and interesting program the director has not been afraid to “strip” the strengths and weaknesses of his group, which has shown a good vocal compactness, although some elements encountered some difficulties in the projection and in the holding of the sound, caused by the imminent change of voice.
The choice of Buzzavi to go on compositions of art music remains however very appreciable.
in a choral scene, which increasingly sees the emergence of “musichette easy to listen” and, in most cases, not of great artistic value.

One piece of advice that I can give to the conductor is to try a more distant arrangement of the individual choristers, which can help to reduce the inevitable beats of the sound, caused by the diversity of the voices, very frequent, when there are singers of various age.

The microphone of the voices, moreover made with professionalism, through four environmental microphones placed behind the choir, as in most cases, has increased any minimum imperfection of the choir.
Even the sound of the piano recorded with two close microphones and reproduced on two speakers placed on the sides of the stage, was a little falsely toned.
This choice can however be justified by the need, on the part of the director, to have the right instrumental support, indispensable in dealing with a choral literature of great value with a youth choir. Also of considerable impact was the support of the new section of the Aurora Choir dedicated to the ‘White Hands’, the group ‘ManIncanto’ directed by Tamara Proietti and Donata Campagnoli, which marked the music with the hands, reminded us that, we can. giving ‘voice’, through the ‘poem’ of the movement, even to those who express themselves, more, with the ‘inner voice’; compared to the physical one produced by the vocal cords.

The choir of the ICA was then exhibited. Correggio 2 directed by Daniela Managoli, who tackled with enthusiasm some pieces taken from the fairytale-musical tale “I capelli del diavolo” by A.Basevi (1957), written with taste and strong humor by the Genoese composer.

The overall set of voices was not impeccable, even if the intonation of the group and the interpretation of the individual pieces were very appreciable, thus demonstrating the effectiveness of the didactic work carried out by the director herself.

The vocality of the chorus was improvable, overall it was good, given the heterogeneity of the voices, guided with a steady hand by Managoli.

Also in this case the pre-recorded musical bases, even if made with good taste, have forced the director to an excessive wear, penalizing the musical performance, without further enriching the timbre of the choir itself.

The boy who played the role of reciter was very likeable and easy-going, but even if he had to practice his diction a little, he proved to have good qualities, recovering with dexterity even in the moments when he had some defiance, the latter often induced by public applause at times not appropriate for the continuation of theatrical continuity.

Finally the evening ended the school choir “Don Dossetti” of Cavriago (RE), guided with determination and musicality by Ilaria Cavalca and accompanied on the piano with measure and taste by Nicole Costoli.

The repertoire presented by the choir was very interesting. Traces of contemporary Italian authors, A.Basevi and G.Coppotelli (1961) alternated with popular passages from the Jewish, Venetian and Finnish tradition.

The well-structured musical path has reached moments of remarkable poetry; and also the vocality of the choir, on the whole, was convincing.

There is still a bit of work to be done to improve the overall ensemble and the intonation of the chorus, which was affected by some beating of the sound, especially among the nearby voices.

Also in this case, a more distant arrangement of choristers could have mitigated this common problem to the majority of the choirs, especially those with even voices.

The concert ended with the joint performance of the song “Giro giro” by G.Guicciardi, on text by E.Razzaboni, directed by Luca Buzzavi, in which the aspect of the sound and emotional impact took superior to the purely musical.

Return from this VII edition of “Corinfesta” greatly enriched in the soul, thanks to the precious and tireless work of these good educators.

It can be said that the latter are laying the foundations, through the teaching of great choral discipline, not only for future good singers, but above all, for excellent individuals of tomorrow.

Finally, I wish to make a special thanks to the Director of the School “CGAndreoli” Mirco Besutti in my name and by AERCO, a true “soul” of a reality which, thanks to its incessant commitment and work, has become a ‘eyelet “, not only for Emilia-Romagna.