Home Sports Riccardo Muti: I’ll tell you about my 80 years. “I give myself the most difficult Beethoven”

Riccardo Muti: I’ll tell you about my 80 years. “I give myself the most difficult Beethoven”

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“You know? It’s strange to be eighty”, begins Riccardo Muti with a smile. We converse with him knowing that we are facing the greatest and most famous conductor of our times, witness and messenger of music and beauty in every corner of the world. An emblem of Italian excellence and a living legend. It does not even seem true that tomorrow there will be eighty springs for him. Best wishes, Master … “When I was a boy, a man who turned eighty seemed to belong to another world and another era. Today, thanks to the progress of science, if luck assists him, an eighty-year-old is still a capable man . So I live these eighty years as a repetition of the twenty: it may seem presumptuous but, thanks to my parents and the life I led, I arrived at this old age in good health. I don’t know what will happen then: for now I am satisfied “. Birthday with the family in Ravenna? “Yes, they invited me to direct but I thought that at least on the day of my 80th birthday I have to rest, and I don’t have to delight, asphyxiate or put others to sleep while standing on the podium – he laughs -. celebrated at the Naples Conservatory, and on the 31st I will be with the young musicians of Scampia, I promised him “. What gift would you like to receive? “I am happy that my children and grandchildren are all with me and with my …

“You know? It’s strange to be eighty”, he begins with a smile Riccardo Muti. We converse with him knowing that we are facing the greatest and most famous conductor of our times, witness and messenger of music and beauty in every corner of the world. An emblem of Italian excellence and a living legend. It does not even seem true that tomorrow there will be eighty springs for him.

Best wishes, Master …

“When I was a boy, a man who turned eighty seemed to belong to another world and another era. Today, thanks to advances in science, if luck assists him, an eighty-year-old is still a capable man. So I live these eighty. ‘years like a repetition of the twenties: it may seem presumptuous but, thanks to my parents and the life I led, I arrived at this old age in good health. I don’t know what will happen then: for now I’m satisfied “.

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Birthday with the family in Ravenna?

“Yes, they invited me to direct but I thought that at least on the day of my 80th birthday I have to rest, and I don’t have to delight, asphyxiate or put others to sleep while standing on the podium – he laughs -. celebrated at the Naples Conservatory, and on the 31st I will be with the young musicians of Scampia, I promised him “.

What gift would you like to receive?

“I am happy that my children and grandchildren are all with me and my wife Cristina for this day. Generally, families gather around the elderly parent for two reasons: either because he is celebrating an important occasion, or because he is at the end of life. I prefer the first hypothesis. “

In music, as in life, time is of the essence. If your life were a score, what time would you give it?

“The score of my life so far has certainly been an andante con moto, sometimes a allegro allegro. Of course, there are always crescendos and diminuendos. Certainly it has never been an adagio.”

That is to say?

“Often the term” adagio “is interpreted as a very slow tempo. Instead it stands for at ease, that is, comfortable. Already very young I was appointed conductor of the Maggio Fiorentino, then at the age of 31 at the London Philharmonia, at 39 at the Philadelphia Orchestra , all positions of responsibility. Never at ease “.

He will direct the G20 culture at the Quirinale. You and President Mattarella were born a few days apart: what will you tell him?

“I will let the New World Symphony of Dvorák that we have chosen speak. After the tragedy we have experienced, we hope that a new world will truly open with a full recovery of values, not a world of superficiality, slovenliness and ugliness. Hope for the future he is also performing this concert with the Cherubini Youth Orchestra “.

Do you care a lot about young people?

“Yes, these young people dedicate their lives to the cult of beauty and art, but very often they do not find work because the interest in culture is being lost more and more, and not only in our country. If we do not forge the very new generations who will guide the world tomorrow, there will really be fear “.

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What does it mean to conduct an orchestra?

“The director is not the man with the scepter, the authoritarian wand. The director is the one who must know how to direct even a hundred people towards an interpretative concept that he is required to enunciate and explain. He must not impose but must convince. The true director shows himself. in rehearsals, when he exposes his idea and involves all the musicians, who may also disagree but then follow his directions because they find them interesting. This is directing, the rest – said Toscanini – is bagging “.

And today there are those who go wrong?

“Today the directors are very excited. We are running towards success and we no longer follow the path we have taken, in years of study”.

He had strict teachers. Is this rigor missing now?

“I am a child of Italian culture, I had Italian teachers and I thank them because they trained me in a discipline of work that I also found in Verdi’s letters. It is useless to be a mad genius. I do not agree with improvisation or with who sells the lack of ideas as brilliant “.

You have been studying Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis for some time, which you will conduct in August with the Wiener in Salzburg. Why didn’t he ever perform it?

“Because it is of such height that I felt I was losing my breath, like when you go to the high mountains without equipment. The more I analyzed it, the more I felt that it was like entering a metaphysical zone. After conducting the Ninth Symphony in Salzburg, they offered me the Missa: initially I said no, then I thought that at 80 years old … hic sunt leones, these are the boundaries, and if I lose this opportunity I will never do it again. It will be a huge responsibility. It is the deepest a prayer that a man may have made to God, there is a real need for God’s mercy. Beethoven worked meticulously on the Latin text, and for this I am sorry today to hear that they want to resize the Mass in Latin “.

Do you have faith?

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“I come from a Catholic family, but I am not observant. I believe that each of us carries a Church within us. However, when I listen to a good sermon from a priest, I feel that I am learning something. I had the honor of a long meeting with Pope Benedict XVI and I recognized him the great merit of being able to express theological concepts in a clear and simple way. Rem tene, verba sequentur, the Latins used to say: if you have the concepts, the words flow. Not like on TV or certain politicians ” .

And how do you imagine life beyond life?

“I think that we are all part of the energy of the universe: the body is transient but the energy is freed. It is an energy of the cosmos, a sense of order and harmony which is then that Love that – Dante it teaches us – it moves the sun and other stars. And I also believe that there is a sound in the universe that our ears cannot hear. “

But do you also listen to ‘other’ music?

“No, I don’t have time. I don’t even listen to my recordings, I don’t watch my recordings on TV. I don’t like examining myself. I certainly don’t disown what I’ve done, but I’m very critical of myself and I believe that it is always necessary to move forward, not look back”.

What if they now ask you to run a government perhaps?

“Oh, no. Everyone has to stand in their own field and try to do it in the best way. I don’t know how I will be judged at the end of my life in my job as an interpreter, but one thing is sure: the commitment was truly total. And it continues to be “.

How do you see the world in 20 or 50 years?

“I answer you with the words of the Guardian Father in Verdi’s The Force of Destiny:” Who can read in the future? “. The Italians are an extraordinary people. If the energies are placed at the service of a positive goal, we are not inferior to anyone in the world. But if we continue to disperse in what only gives us the illusion of being happy, then it will take a long time to recover. “

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