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LUIGI ATTADEMO

Award-winning in several national and international competitions, among the others the

“Concours International d’Exécution Musicale (CIEM)” in Geneva (1995), Luigi Attademo was pupil of the guitarist-composer Angelo Gilardino. He has been invited as guest in many festivals, and he premiered many contemporary works of important composers, like Angelo Gilardino, Alvaro Company, Dusan Bogdanovic, Alessandro Solbiati, Giorgio Gaslini, Michele Tadini, Sofia Gubaidulina and others.

Among his teachers, Julius Kalmar, Giovanni Guanti, Alessandro Solbiati, Emilia Fadini. Graduate in Philosophy with a dissertation on the musical interpretation, he published a book about this subject. He has been contributor to various specialized magazines, like “Giornale della Musica” “Seicorde” “il Fronimo”, the Spanish magazine “Roseta”, “Soundboard” and “Schweitzer Musikzeitung.” He worked in the Archive of the Andrés Segovia’s Foundation in Linares, to catalogue its manuscripts published by “The Roseta”.  There, he discovered some unknown manuscripts of significant composers, such as Jaume Pahissa, Alexandre Tansman, Gaspar Cassadò and others, after published by A. Gilardino in the Segovia Archive Collection (Bèrben Edition).

He gave concerts in Europe, Australia, Argentina, USA, India, Korea, etc. performing as soloist and chamber music. He recorded various CDs, from Baroque music to Segovia Repertoire. In 2007, the American magazine “Guitar Review” dedicated him an interview and a CD with his recordings. After the CD dedicated to Scarlatti's Sonatas (Brilliant, 2009), he recorded a double CD dedicated to Bach music for lute, published by Brilliant Classics (2011). In 2011, he has made a new program “Homage to Paganini” based on Italian contemporary works, written specifically for him, and published by the Sinfonica Editions in 2013. In the same period he recorded the complete works for guitar by Niccolò Paganini, ( Brilliant Classics in 2013, on a Gaetano Guadagnini guitar, 1851).

In 2011, he has made a new program “Homage to Paganini” based on Italian contemporary works, written specifically for him, and published by the Sinfonica Editions in 2013. In the same period he recorded the complete works for guitar by Niccolò Paganini, ( Brilliant Classics in 2013, on a Gaetano Guadagnini guitar, 1851). In 2014, the Italian magazine Amadeus dedicated him the cover and published his CD on Fernando Sor Masterworks, played on a 1830 Lacôte 1830. During these years, he started to play with the violist Simone Gramaglia (viola of the Quartetto di Cremona) and he published with him a new CD dedicated to Paganini music for guitar and viola (Brilliant, 2015); in the same year, he dedicated a programme to Boccherini Quintets, playing with Quartetto di Cremona and Cuarteto Casals. In that year, he also realized a project supported by Siemens Foundation, dedicated to Hans Werner Henze music and his masterwork El Cimarrón. In 2016, he was the first performer of the Alessando Solbiati’s new work for guitar and 15 instruments, recorded in 2018 with Ukho Ensemble of Kyiv. After, he has released a new CD, devoted to 19th century repertoire using six different historical guitars. In 2018, he worked to a project dedicated to Antonio Torres, playing many concerts with original guitars by Torres. He was also the curator of the Exhibition dedicated to Torres at Museo del Violino in Cremona in 2018. The last publications for Da Vinci Classics are dedicated to Scarlatti’s Sonatas, and Astor Piazzolla. This last one, made for the anniversary of Piazzolla includes 9 new pieces written specifically for this program. He released in 2022 a CD of Bach transcriptions (Brilliant Classics). He is going to record a new CD with Simone Gramaglia, dedicated to Schubert. He teaches at Conservatorio Bruno Maderna in Cesena and at Scuola di Musica di Fiesole; often invited as expert and for lectures (Geneva HEM, Royal Academy of Music of London) he has been a juror in many international competitions (Alessandria, Mottola, Guitar Foundation of America, etc.). In 2022, he will be invited at the Guitar Foundation of America Convention in Indianapolis.

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LUIGI ATTADEMO
and 
ANGELO GILARDINO

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I met Angelo Gilardino as a composer when I was very young and still far away from believing that I would become a musician. It was in the early eighties, when Angelo was by now completely dedicated to composition and had inaugurated the cycle of Studies by Virtuosity and Transcendence, which then became a cornerstone of guitar literature Contemporary.

In those years Marco de Santi and Luigi Biscaldi had begun to schedule the execution of the first series of Studies. My Master at the time, Pino Racioppi, a to whom I owe the opportunity to meet Angelo Gilardino, when I was about 12 he proposed listening to and studying Elegia di Marzo, one of the best-known pieces among the Studies. For me it was music completely new, and I didn't have any tools and references for me to orient myself in that listening. I simply found it strange and far from what I was used to hearing and play then - the most advanced author was perhaps Villa-Lobos - and therefore it remained for me in the beginning foreign.

However, a couple of years and direct knowledge of Angelo were enough to immediately understand that behind that music there was an important world to know. An author worthy of the name can only express his poetic vision in what writes. Angelo Gilardino, almost like the last romantic, made no distinction between art and life. He wrote music but his making music was also philosophy, theology, painting.

This statement it must not be misunderstood. His was pure music, sounds that emerged from his complex interiority to come to life in a speech or as he liked to say in a form.

But like the authors of the romantic period, Gilardino never stopped being an artist outside from dealing with music, and art was constantly in dialogue with reflection, with transcendence and with an aesthetic vision. The love of painting and color was one of the ways of rediscover its sounds in another guise. His reflections, even philosophical, were the fruit not so much of abstract speculation as much as mimesis of the creative processes that he found in his authors favorites (Proust for example), without ever denying moments of pure hedonism.

In spite of the image he gave of himself, mostly dictated by his discretion, he received from the music of his favorite authors as real moments of aesthetic pleasure from the pictorial works. Beauty was all in all the center of his interests. The relationship first with music then with painting and poetry emerges from the continuous call which he does in the Studies of Virtuosity and Transcendence.

In the middle of this creative period, the my personal relationship with his music, which I can describe in terms of a vocation. After a first meeting, I began to develop an interest in music other than what it was conventionally studied in Conservatory programs. Angelo's music so rich in references to the past, and to art, represented the ideal repertoire to better understand what meant being a musician and embodying a vision of the world. In 1987 this passion towards

what his music represented, was sealed by a gift I received, the dedication of studio "Trajes de Luces".

As in the Etudes there is a progressive move away from the discovery of the instrument in sense idiomatic to develop increasingly allusive writing systems, so in the Variations we witness a a synthesis of this process, focused on the three poles that represent the emblem of his musical poetry.

If the treatment of Sor's theme in the Variations on Folly, although exposed in the end, it maintains the trappings of a classicism from which Angelo has never really distanced himself, the Music for the Angel of Melancholy brings into play that free treatment of form which it will greatly characterize the following music, made up of reiterations of first, obsessive, and moments of singing that are in fact prayer.

The last cycle, on Fortuna, is the darkest, because it somehow deals with the theme of Destiny. But far from being purely speculative, we still find in this music alongside metaphysical moments, a compositional gesture full of passion, which reminds me of the painter's phrase Francis Bacon - enormously admired by Angelo - who defined himself as “an optimist, but an optimist to nowhere".

Louis Attademo.

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In the period of the composition of the Studies, the creation of the two Sonatas and successively of the three cycles of Variations that close its first period.

What was in this music? It is not easy to answer and it is not foolish to say "everything".

How happens in Beethoven's music - in the same year we discover works of such a different character such as the Sonata op. 26 and the two Sonatas from op. 27 - this is how we listen to his two Sonatas composed after a short time, which offer us two different and in some ways conflicting sound worlds. In the second Sonata, "Hiver florit", there is enchantment, and a tension towards peace and contemplation. In the first Sonata there is a more severe construction, in accordance with the cult of form, where a darker vision pervades the work not without moments of lyricism, as in extraordinary second movement.

But precisely, the lyricism is suffered, the result of laceration, of an existence full of painful truths. As mentioned, there is no separation between life and art in Gilardino, and in fact the life that the author lived, tells of a constant struggle between "the appearance of true" and the search for possible "exits from the world", whether they are embodied by the beauty of a person, from a place, from a piece of music, from a painting, or imagined in the promise of an elsewhere after earthly life, just reward for the task done, as happens for the Master of the novel by Bulgakov.

In addition to this dual nature of his music, however, there is also an evolution that can be observed in five books of the Studies, and immediately after in the arrival at the three cycles of Variations, with titles not by chance emblematic: Madness, Melancholy, Fortune.

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