Commissioned by the Balletto Teatro di Torino, this work takes the tiny Flemish fragments of music reproduced in some of Caravaggio's paintings as the starting-point for a musical commentary on Matteo Levaggi's choreography, inspired by the painter's works as well as by his violent and controversial life. Following the world première at the Festival Internazionale del Balletto di Genova on 20 July 2004, the Turin company that commissioned it has continued to perform the ballet in major dance seasons in Italy and abroad. Sollima had a tenor violin specially reconstructed for the piece by the violin-maker Walter Cangialosi. This instrument, which has practically disappeared, is shown in some of the artist's paintings.


"A master forgotten for 8 years… thrown into a corner among odds and ends, piles of CDs and notes. Forgotten even in a play list in the i-Tunes of my Mac… One day Marta said to me: «look, daddy, Caravaggio!».. We quickly listen to it. I think: «It's ready, almost ready, one or two things need revising, a voice needs to be added, all the rest is done!». Created at the time for the Turin Ballet, which toured it. I'd completely forgotten it. Something I often do, maybe on purpose. Now – 8 years later – I wouldn't know what to say about this music, I don't say anything, I think again about those "musical" paintings, about all the time spent getting right the details of those musical scraps – fragments, bass-lines or little else – reproduced so fanatically, compositions by the Flemish Jacob (or Jakob or Jacques) Arcadelt, I think about the shadowy sound, the lateral light, the hybrid instruments with strange shapes and sizes, I think about his life on the brink. Meanwhile Marta takes the score of Voi sapete ch'io v'amo, and sings it."


Giovanni Sollima, March 2012

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© Matteo Levaggi