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“A memory for Angelo”

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Although I met him briefly in August 1975, at the Caulera in Trivero, I stories from many of his students - especially from my then dearest friend Tiziano Galligani – they had already described the haloed Angel of legend to me: credit to both of his teaching and virtuoso skills, and of some singular character aspects that, today more than yesterday, they continue to cheer me up because they are antithetical to what the now recommends Unfortunately, "politically correct" etiquette is dominant.

At almost the same time, that is, in his mid-years, he spoke to me about Angelo with affection and praise Sergio Givone, three years younger and his companion in adolescence of poetic-existential forays among the Vercelli rice fields.

From Givone I would then have been the first graduate (in 1976 from the University of Turin), as soon as the authorities academics granted him the eligibility to hold the role of speaker.

With significant in return, Angelo would have held the laudatio for on 21 October 2014 in Vercelli Sergio on the occasion of his retirement from university teaching; and the latter, on January 17, 2022, in Asigliano, would have commemorated Angelo as part of his funeral.

Countless others would be added to Angelo's first memorabilia, nor I am an earwitness to over forty years of our friendship. How many laughter...“See Giovanni, how good I was? I managed to have a child without having to pass under the gauntlet of a woman”; but also how much to reflect, for example on the condemnation of the "middle class" to lead - to resume its happy metaphor -an increasingly shady existence, “like the bug behind the wallpaper”.

Of these thoughts of his, often prescient and as lapidary as they are lapidatory, I could fill many pages, I hope without embarrassing the publishers. What is certain is that in October 1980 I had my first assignment as a teacher of Composition for Teaching at the Vivaldi Conservatory of Alessandria, where Angelo would have entered (if I remember correctly) the next year. From the first moment - recognize us for what we were: reincarnations of the romantic, unappeasable Sucher (explorer) - began many liturgies of friendship between colleagues: from shared lunch breaks to accompanying him to the train or bus to Vercelli at the end of lessons.

We discussed, as well as heterodox disciplines and characters (numerology, alchemy astrology Vivekananda Aurobindo...) also of the "news events" of the moment, and this lasted for over twenty years, until Angelo's retirement and mine took up service in Roma3 in 2005. Above all, there was discussion - as one would have said in the devout Middle Ages - of the salvation of their respective souls, about which there is no they could record opinions that were more different than ours. Proof that friendship, if authentic, it does not require unanimity on everything and everyone, on the contrary!

Obviously, we talked at the most different levels, about music and musicians: but, in this headquarters, I will simply thank Angelo for letting me meet and get to know "anime lives" like Luigi Attademo, Vincenzo Torricella, Franco Cavallone, Luigi Biscaldi and many of his other guitar students.

Since I keep a diary, so I can be precise on certain dates, I remember the only outburst made to me by Angelo, to which I responded as in my style shrugging...


It was November 6, 1993. The cause? My holding his kids spent too long in class. Having passed the age of seventy, I allow myself to consider it a venial peccadillo....

Angelo, for his part, continued to thank me repeatedly for having "initiated" him to computers and, in particular, digital musical notation, which allowed him (although with artificial timbre which is initially unpleasant for any ear musically practiced) – to get at least an idea of the result of his writing.


I had just pioneered the first website of Conservatorio Vivaldi and, in fact, I introduced Angelo to the use of Finale della Coda. In followed, after having written at length with the Finnish computer scientists who created Sibelius (now Avid patent), Angelo finally convinced me too - hours and hours of comparison head to head in front of the monitors – which, for our needs, Sibelius was improve. So, very willingly I finally converted to his well-motivated reasons...

Among Angelo's many "good deeds" at the conservatory, I remember having done promoter of a class-action, then signed by many colleagues, including myself, for the recounting of contributions paid to INPS by the Treasury of Alessandria.

This does not take away from the fact that if we agreed that the growing technological bureaucratizationincom- sufferable not only with the salvation of the soul but also with the integrity of the body. Fulcrum (to borrow an apt title) of both virtuosity and a truly fruitful transcendence...

In the conservatory I witnessed his sagacious patience with the most unruly children from the adjacent middle school, in front of whom many teachers had already threw in the towel. Angelo knew how to do it, and often invited me to his class for witness some miracle from... beast tamer! Both without a car license, we often celebrated “the pedestrian cosmos of province"; and, when his feet began to swell from fluid retention, limiting his walks, I was moved by Alessandro's concern, new Maddalena, in massaging them.

How moved I was - because I was aware

of the background to Angelo's call to the Conservatory, vigorously desired by the then director and mutual friend Carlo Mosso but opposed by many (I suppose out of envy, given the capital "difference" represented by Angelo, the person and the artist, compared to the norm) - moved, I was saying, by his exemplary adaptation to an environment and a professional routine that are very different from those typical of the concert performer.itinerant virtuoso that he had been, but without ever deviating from fidelity to himself anymore deep.

Overwhelmed by the memories that are intertwining and overlapping, I remember that I sat next to him in the Institute Councils, fortunately (writes a scholar of Oblomov rather than Stakhanov...) much rarer in the 1980s than later; and so it was, at Angelo's explicit request and to my amused amazement, also on the 24th.January 2018 in the Sala della Regina of Montecitorio for the presentation of his volume “Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco "A Florentine in Beverly Hills".

“The jacket me I put it on", I whispered to him, "but not the tie... and then, still playing the goat put on near the horse inclined to get angry to calm him down”?

December 1, 2020, black lapillo signando day.

Angelo calls me in Alessandria to tell me that he had been diagnosed with liver cancer. It was one of the rare times in which, in derogation of his very firm belief that the work is important and not the worker, he talked about it at length. He is lucid and objective and courageous; I'm careful above all that he had consulted and compared various medical "bells". Superfluous,

instead, for my part I invite him to dive into his work, since I have never met no one who had more dedication and determination for it than Him. That there is so much that is metaphorically autobiographical in his didactic and compositional, and that it is necessary to explore the interaction between his life and his art to better understand its meaning, it is obvious but difficult to demonstrate.

starting from the fruitful synergy between music and figurative arts which, at that time, was not had still entered the conservatory programs as a subject of study and Angelo's entire existence proves to be necessary and essential. Every morning, when I wake up, my eye falls on one or another of the six lithographs by Gastone Cecconello that Angelo gave me in June 1996 for my wedding. Sore that it is no longer possible to discuss it together on this earth, I often remember the Angelo's bizarre aversion to human figures or even just vaguely humanoids in the canvases of the Piedmontese landscape painters of the late nineteenth century who he loved so much and he collected. Staring into his eyes (so much laughter...) I pretended to remind him severity that even Hitler, a failed painter, loved large, unpopulated spaces!

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In fact, Angelo dodged and disgusted to the highest degree everything relating to the sphere political-worldly and was very skilled when it was needed to fit in self-defense, until as a young man, the mask of the grumpy bear. In that sphere, since the world began, also include the funerals of "public personalities", but the contemporary quirk of Accompanying them with applause disgusted both of them, agreeing that they were right.anthropologists who explain how “the terror of death, and above all of its silence, induces the production of noises of all sorts with an apotropaic function...".

I write it because a cause of force majeure, the remote exams for my studentsRoma3, fortunately prevented me from attending the funeral of Angel. So that, consequently, what represented our last  remains intact.crossroads on this earth.

Angelo, in early January 2022, called me because he wanted my opinion on his paying increasing attention to certain sequences numerical numbers and the synchronicity of their appearance, which at times almost "obsessed" him. An admirable example of a self-made man, Angelo had genius - this is how I summarize the decades of mutual acquaintance and friendship - of harmonious integration progressive of experiences and values, without denying a single iota of one's own previous. There is irrefutable proof of this - and how much we talk and write about the topic - the his prudent and courageous transition from composition for solo guitar to that for multiple guitars, followed by works for guitar and other instruments (flute, violin, etc.) up to the actual orchestral writing.

The same goes for his readings in poetic-literary and philosophical-theological fields, which have expanded into concentric circles ever wider. And what can we say, finally, about the perfect "integration" into the cosmos?Gilardinian even than the great maestro  Segovia?

Punctually present in my city for the International Guitar Competition "Michele Pittaluga" and for many of the related conferences, Angelo however confirmed in the impression - and honni soit qui mal y pense...- that the decades spent within the walls of Palazzo Cuttica, home of Vivaldi, was easily passed by for him too "as drops of water on the feathers of a duck”. I suppose the imprint is much more durable of the important spiritual experience of which, between 10 and 14 May 2000, he told me to voice and by telephone, and which he explained and confirmed to me face to face the following year in Vercelli, in during the celebrations for his 60th birthday (17 November 2001). I don't doubt neither that he was predestined to it nor that he did with it, as with everything else given to him in luck, a great use!

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