Düsseldorf and Köln - February 2006

Angelo Branduardi in "Laude des Heiligen Franziskus"

Photos and comments by  Patrice Gruben

..: ITALIANO :..



Dear friends,

Some days ago I returned from a short holiday in Germany. I went there with my husband and also Stephanie was there in Düsseldorf and Köln.


Our first surprise when we entered the theatre was to find Gianluca (well-known to many of the Branduardi-ans), back in his post selling T-shirts, CD's etc. A warm greeting with him and greetings to everybody.

A Branduardian member Ronald from Holland went to the ticket office some time ago, when he was passing through Düsseldorf and he managed to buy 4 tickets for the 2nd row. A perfect place, exactly where Angelo was standing at about 2 or 3 metres distance, as the seats were very near to the stage. Thank you again Ronald!! Before the concert I made some photo's of Angelo's instruments, that were waiting for him on the stage like a still life painting.

The concert started at 20.00 , and knowing the German punctuality, it really started on time!
Angelo was dressed in his wide black trousers and white shirt and bare feet.
All the spoken text was in German and also 2 songs: Sonnenlied (Cantico) and Il lupo di Gubbio. The other songs were in Italian, and on both sides of the stage the German lyrics were projected, but they were always a bit too late.
Our seat was very good to see everything, specially Angelo, always singing with his eyes closed, but it was difficult to concentrate also on all the other things happening on the stage. We did not get an overall view, so eyes and attention switched from one to another, making it all a bit confusing.
The German Lauda was more or less the same as the Italian Lauda's that I have seen, but also in Italy there were often changes.
One of the changes was that at a certain point, when the music plays the tune of Entrada del temps clar (Futuro Antico I) , the scene with the puppets,  in Italy it was (and correct me if I'm wrong) only a short part, the melody, and now Angelo actually sang the whole song.
On the stage there was a second ramp, on the left side, so ballerina's could also use this.
Of course the actors were German. I liked very much Bernardo, who was very lively and merry and laughing a lot. Francesco was a bit timid, quiet, almost unnoticed, but his death-scene was impressive.
There were 6 ballerina's and one male dancer, that I had not seen before. His Wolf of Gubbio was not as good as the ones I had seen before. Sometimes the Italian ballerina's had to speak some German texts, which was not always easy for them :-)
There were some other little changes, I remember a scene in Italy where on the right side of the stage they are <building a house from wood> , I did not notice this now.
One of the big changes was, that Angelo used his new toy, a harp guitar (see photo). A very large guitar, that made Angelo seem very small. It looked quite heavy when he carried it. The information that Angelo gave about this instrument, later after the show, was that it has 16 strings (and 20 strings are possible) and it was made specially for him. It originates from around





1820, but was never very popular. Angelo went <shopping> for this guitar in America, where it would take 5 years to make it for him (long waiting list), Japan, and in the end it was made for him in Italy. He seemed really happy and proud to have this instrument in his collection, and indeed the sound was very good.
I had the impression that Angelo played more often than before as support for the actors and the dancing, the melody of Stella Mattutina.
Angelo seemed relaxed and to be enjoying himself. Sometimes he danced a bit with the ballerina's and acted a bit like the clown that he likes to be, maybe to make it all a bit less serious.
The audience was not quite sure I think if they should applaud after every song, and it seemed strange to me, that they were quiet most of the time. Only after the more lively songs, they applauded. And even at the end, everybody stayed sitting, not applauding standing, like usual.
After the Lauda it was time for some specials. First Pulce d'Acqua, first singing some lines and then instrumental. The audience helped the rhythm section by clapping on the beat. During this music the ballerina's could show their ballet skills by dancing individually and showing us some really special dancing techniques. After a while Pulce turned into an Irish reel, and everything became even more enthousiastic, and more dancing.
Then Angelo played on the violin the introduction that he has been playing at the beginning of the accoustic part of the Altre ed Altrove tour, going over in Alla Fiera dell'Est. When all the performers took their last bow, Davide suddenly spotted us in the audience, a big smile and then.... the threw

 his drumsticks in our direction. I was lucky to catch one, and the other stick will also go to Holland, because Ronald caught it! 
And the very special last song was Stella Mattutina, played on the harp guitar and sung by Angelo, a very emotional song and perfect to end the evening.

After the concert Steph and I went to the artists entrance and waited there. First we talked for a while with Davide. He seemed quite happy with the response of the Lauda in Germany and said everything was going fine.
Then Angelo came, very happy and relaxed. We had a lot of time to talk to him, because he was waiting for a taxi, which did not come.....
We talked about his new instrument, about the Lauda, about the way the Lauda was received in Germany. An interesting thought maybe: in the south of Germany, where more catholics live, the theatres were completely sold out, and the fans were very enthousiastic. The more north they came, the less people came to the Lauda. The north is only about 10% catholic (I don't know if this is correct, these are Angelo's words) and people are not so interested in a figure like San Francesco. In Italy SF is more a national symbol, in other countries a lot less.
He also said this German tour was purely <promotional>, and of course we were stupid not to ask what this exactly meant. Maybe it was just to satisfy the many German fans, who had not seen him for quite a while. I didn't get the impression that there would be more tours to Belgium and Holland, not to mention France or Spain.
About the future, he did not go into any questions concerning <what next>.


 After about half hour (maybe not so long, but it seemed a long time) the taxi had not arrived yet and in the end Gianluca took Angelo with him in his car. Angelo told us , if his taxi would come, that we could take it.
He had just left when the taxi arrived. Steph and I walked up to it, and the driver said the taxi was for a Herr Bran-du-ar-di... (obviously he had never heared the name before). We told him it was ok, Herr Branduardi had left and had said that we could take his taxi :-)
All in all a great evening, good performance and many surprises.
The lauda in Köln was in the Philharmonie, really one of the highest theatres that I have ever been in. The seats seemed to go right up to the sky. Steph and I had seats in the 14th row, good seats but because of the height we were quite far from the stage. But this time it was very good to see a total view, and less tiring. So it was good we had two times to be able to see everything.
The lauda was the same as the evening before, the only change I noticed was that he sang Cogli la Prima Mela and not Alla fiera dell’Est.
The audience was very enthousiastic and applauded after every song. And also at the end the gave a standing applause.
For me the most exciting part had been the acoustics, really every note sounded perfect!
After the Lauda we went outside again to wait for Angelo and the other artists. This time we did not have to wait so long in the cold, because everybody seemed to be in a big hurry to go to the bus that was waiting for them. Last as always Angelo came and talked to us for a couple of minutes. Then he embraced both of us, we thanked him for two perfect evenings and then he left.
Steph was so lucky to see him again in Berlin, so maybe she has a little more to add to this report. And Steph, if I have forgotten something, please add!!!
Sorry for this long and detailed report, but I know many of you like to read about all the little things J





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