Lequio Berria, (Cuneo) 8 /9/ 2007    Angelo Branduardi:"Omaggio a Pressenda"

photo by Michelangelo Gargiulo

Following a minstrel's paths always gives a certain number of advantages: friends of old date are found again and sometimes you can meet new ones, the climate of teen-ager lightness that is normally hidden inside us, is recovered and you can discover unpredictable places you didn't know. Lequio Berria is one of these: a small village of 500 inhabitants that
overlooks the valleys of the Langhe. A few houses, a church and sudden views of green hills that take away your breath.
It's a quiet village, almost out of time, made vivacious by the presence of its inhabitants: the nice mayor that had already heard speaking of us because he can easily spot "a foreigner", the kind lady that has opened us the Art Gallery, the staff of the hotel that, despite the invasion of tourists, with a warm reception has made comforting and,
I would say, unforgettable, our stay and the people, more than 500 people, who have come from the near suburbs, at first shy and esitating,then touched and thankful. Originating from a Celtic camp, Lequio Berria became a place for the
photo by Michelangelo Gargiulo
Roman who were going toward the sea, a military garrison in Medieval times and the birth place of a lot of soldiers who died during the last world wars. E to its stones, so full of history, is interwoven the charming art of wood workmanship in its most mysterious and exciting form, the art of Giovanni Francesco Pressenda, the maker of stringed instruments.

Angelo Branduardi has been invited for the purpose of giving to the public the exciting sound of an ancient and precious violin built by Pressenda . For the village it is an important event and everybody works intensely.The main square is filled with chairs, patiently numbered by young girls; small kiosks are ready to offer sandwiches and drinks; everywhere there is order and warmth. They kindly open for us, the Collection of the Crayon Paintings of Lequio Berria and we discover a real treasure: a Gallery (unique in our country) of works done by Russian artists in a sort of partnership with Italy, in fact in Russia, in Jaroslavl, there is a collection of crayon paintings made by Italian artists. A collaboration that was born at the same time at distance of 4000 kilometers... it's great! Even if we B-ans are used to nullify the distances between so many countries; -)

When Angelo finishes his rehearsals with his musicians, Lequio Berria slowly starts to become full of people . We chat with David Ragazzoni, nice and smiling as usual, we taste some wine, (it is a crime not to doing it in this village) and finally arrives the moment of the Trovatore. The public is spellbound, I don't think it was waiting for such a show, in fact when it's time to sing it has not the courage to do it. It doesn't sing a lot, however it claps the hands, a lot, and it
stands up a lot of time. The passages of the Lauda, as it often happens, create a touching and solemn atmosphere, but at the moment in which the sound of the ancient violin spreads in the square, so evocative and moving, we are indeed all mute and excited. Also Angelo is touched thinking of how many people have played that violin before him and how many people will play it after him: the passing of so many lives... and if it is true that the violin steals the soul of the one who plays it,
in Pressenda now there is also a little bit of Branduardi, in a mutual enrichment.

photo by Ida ToneroThe part of the classical songs continuous with "La donna della sera", a beautiful surprise for people who like me had not listened to it since the times of "Domenica and Luned́", then "Confessioni di un malandrino", "Vanità di vanità", "La pulce d'acqua"... And at last: "Is there the moon tonight? " He asks with the microphone. No, there is not. Then he sings it for us.

The night finishes very late: we say goodbye to Angelo after dinner, at two o'clock, when, satisfied, he goes inside his car. And what about the B-ans? Beh, we have met him at lunch time and we have chatted for a while: before we could mention the Branduardi-ans, he has spoken of us, sending his regards to everybody and he said he feels very sorry for the French friends that have waited for him in vain at Guingamp. However the Lauda will arrive for them soon: -)

A big hug to Adele, to her friends, to Laura Z. and in particular to Micci and Michelangelo, extraordinary companions of wine and adventure:-)
A hug for all of you!

Alessandra Mazzucco


      Lequio e le Langhe




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