Mario Stefano Pietrodarchi (Accordion and Bandoneon)
Quintetto d’archi della Royal Academy di London
(String Quintet of the Royal Academy of London)
- Morricone: Three Themes (Cinema Paradiso, Mission, C’era una volta il west)
- Rota: Omaggio a Federico Fellini (La dolce vita, Amarcord, 8 1⁄2)
- Sangeniti: Giulietta Spider, Giulia
- Piazzolla: Oblivion, Adios Nonino, Milonga del Angel, Jorge Adios, Le Grand Tango
- Piazzolla: Libertango
PIETROD...ARCHI is a project of innovation and temerity. Temerity because the listener peeks at natural visions, savours unimagined places beyond time – bright, in the present, taut, dawn like. Then the strong desire for the theatrical, so much a part of Pietrodarchi’s performance style and musicality. His vitality overflows into a frothy tidal wave of happiness. There is an overwhelming desire to participate in the very act of being. An inner will, from which the soul takes its essence. There is a desire to be overcome by the reality of performance, to sing the world in order to save it, to highlight it, to remember it.
But there is more besides: a mysterious force, a biological and sentimental intensity which comes constantly to the fore. There is the calm serenity of a person who has lived, suffered and assimilated the pages of music he performs for us without any formal restriction or holding back.
PIETROD...ARCHI is powerfully sustained and hungry for life. A decisive tone. A withholding of breath. Never receding. Music chosen by the group underlines the human experience of beauty, emotions, geometry and imagination at its heart. MPS is an expert at music because he is an expert at himself. That means questioning the clichés that too often go unchallenged. Is the accordion an instrument for popular culture? He turns it into a spellbinding experience, a garden of sweet-scented blooms. And does bandoneon really only connote tango? MSP digs deeper, unearthing unheard of roots. He commissions original works from esteemed contemporary Italian composers – Roberto Molinelli, Andrea Scarpone, Germano Mazzocchetti, Enrico Blatti .
Too ofen the music of today is seen as a kind of Himalaya –an unachievable mountain. If you don’t have the right equipment, you’ll never reach the top. This has alienated the young and thrown them into the lion’s den of pop music. Great music has been fenced into protected areas, special reserves for only a few sad specialists. But anyone who has watched a performance of PIETROD...ARCHI knows that something special takes place there. Life returns. Music making is always a three-way process: the writer, the player, the listener. As the poet Davide Rondoni recalls, quoting an American critic “ everything is possible if you are just man enough”.
Mario Stefano Pietrodarchi is certainly “man enough”. And this means something personal and new. He has been critically acclaimed throughout the world and has played with great orchestras including the Sinfonia Abruzzese, Filarmonica Marchigiana, Armenian State Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Slesiana (Poland), Bielorussian State Chamber Orchestra. Now he is working on an even more ambitious project: to create a permanent collaboration with a small string orchestra and piano. This is innovative territory with fresh repertoire. The aim, to rework fragments from Italian popular music, from that abundant heritage laying almost dormant throughout the country.
Music is always the result of an encounter – never a fixed idea. It is a happening, continually evolving. It gathers realities and creates relationships between people with a mysterious escape route at its heart. It sequesters and requires total openness and acceptance. This is the challenge laid down by MSP, the members of his group and the composers. They are willing to traverse that life force outside the four walls of the home. Will we, the listeners, accept the challenge ?