LUIGI ROVIGHI In memoriam

The Premio Bonporti 2021 is dedicated to one of the great Italian “paladins” in the renaissance of baroque performance practice: maestro Luigi Rovighi (1932-2020), a sensitive and rigorous musician and teacher, author of fundamental studies on the performance practice of stringed instruments (here is a link to the list of his writings and to his fundamental essay of 1973).

 

Die musikalischen Stücken von guten Meistern richtig nach der Vorschrift lesen und nach dem im Stücke herschenden Affecte abspielen ist weit künstlicher, als die schweresten Solo und Concerte studieren. Zu dem letzen brauch man eben nicht Vernunft. Und wenn man so viel Geschiklichtkeit ht die Applicaturen auszudenken: so kann man die Schweresten Passagen von sich selbst lernen; wenn nur eine Starke Uebung dazu kommt. Das erste hingegen ist nicht so leicht.

Denn man muss nicht nur alles angemerkte und vorgeschriebene genau beobachten, und nicht anders, als wie es hingesetz ist, abspielen: sondern man muss auch mit einer Gewissen Empfindung spielen; man muss sich in den Affect setzen, der auszudrücken ist;

und man muss alle die Züge, die Schleifer, das Abstossen der Noten, das Schwache und Starke, und, mit einem Worte, alles was immer zum Schmackthasten Vortrage eines Stückes gehöret, aus eine gewisse gute Art anbringen und vortragen, die man nicht anders, als mit gesunder Beurtheilungskraft durch eine lange Erfahrnitz erlernet.

 

To read the musical pieces of good masters rightly according to the instructions, and to play them in keeping with the outstanding Affetto of the piece is far more artistic than to study the most difficult solo or concerto. For the latter, but little sense is necessary. And if one has enough wit to think out the appoggiature, one can learn the most difficult  passages for oneself if energetic practice be added. The former, on the contrary, is not so easy. For, not only must one observe exactly all that has been marked and prescribed and not play it otherwise than as written; but one must throw oneself into the Affect to be expressed and apply and execute in a certain good style all the ties, slides, accentuation of the notes; the forte and piano; in a word, whatever belongs to tasteful performance of a piece; which can only be learnt from sound judgement and long experience.

Leggere correttamente i brani musicali di buoni maestri secondo quanto prescritto e riprodurli secondo l’affetto prevalente nel brano è molto più artistico che studiare i passi solistici e i concerti più difficili. Non c’è bisogno di motivazione per quest’ultima cosa. E se si ha tanta abilità nell’escogitare come applicarvisi: allora si possono imparare da sé i passaggi più difficili; basta aggiungervi un robusto esercizio.La prima cosa, però, non è così facile. Perché non devi solo considerare tutto ciò che è annotato e prescritto, e riprodurlo in nessun altro modo se non come è scritto: ma bisogna anche suonare con un determinato sentimento; ci si deve porre nell’Affetto che vi è da esprimere; e si devono applicare ed eseguire tutte le legature, gli Schleifer [“grazie”, “accenti”], l’accentazione delle note, il piano e il forte, e, in una parola, tutto ciò che appartiene sempre alla buona esecuzione di un pezzo, in una consapevole buona maniera, che non si impara se non con una sana capacità di giudizio attraverso una lunga esperienza.

(L. Mozart, Gründliche Violinschule, 17873, XII, 3 , p. 258)

As the great maestri of the past tell us,  a good musician  (violinist, harpsichordist, singer or other instrumentalist) needs to knows the technique, but above all, respecting the style of the music,  tastefully express its intimate expressive meaning. For this reason,  the Premio Bonporti, after over 25 years’ experience in selecting and promoting young musicians on the international scene, wants to renew its appeal to the varied world of HIP (Historically Informed Performance). We invite those who love early music to read it, play it and listen to it with respect for its original characteristics and with spiritual depth when interpreting it.

The famous musician and performance practice scholar Bruce Haynes has drawn the attention of the HIP world to the need to consider more and bring out more the “rhetoric” so inherent in the musical expression of Baroque, and not just Baroque, music, without which fundamental aspects of historical music are lost.

To recognize its former importance, and to cultivate it once more and benefit from its inspiration, would represent the discovery of something new in our culture.

(B. Haynes, The End of Early Music. A Period Performer’s History of Music for the Twenty-First Century, Oxford, Oxford University Press 2007, p 183)

 The Premio Bonporti wants to respond to these needs, and promote “good practice” among the new generations, consolidating the idea that dealing with “early music” means carrying out research together with performance / interpretation.

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The new Premio Bonporti takes place as follows:

  • Admission of maximum 6 participants – with scholarship (selection through audio-video material)
  • Preparatory Masterclass for the 6 admitted candidates (5 online meetings and two days in presence in Rovereto) – The Masterclass will be held by Richard Gwilt (President of the Competition) who will lend each candidate a replica of a short 17th Century bow.
  • Semifinal round (the 6 candidates admitted)
  • Final round (maximum 3 candidates).

Another interesting innovation concerns the performance of assigned melodies (“a prima vista”) in keeping with  historical practice. We know that creativity was the basis of a musician’s skills, whether he was a composer and / or performer. This was exemplified by the improvisation tests which  maestro organist candidates had to undergo in churches or by the numerous “competitions” between musicians, based on assigned “themes “ or pieces of music.

Awards:

  • 6 scholarships
  • 3 cash prizes to the Finalists
  • The winner will record a DVD as the BONPORTI HIP (Historically Informed Performance) TESTIMONIAL in order to best represent and disseminate historical performance practice.
  • Promotional copies, with the accompanying presentation booklet, will be sent by the Premio Bonporti to the major festivals and early music organisations, and will also be advertised on the leading international music platforms.

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