SANREMO 2014, PERHAPS…

Translation by Davide Andreis

At the release of the live CD “Del Suo Veloce Volo”, with the recording of part of the beautiful concert held at the Arena di Verona with the Arturo Toscanini Philarmonic Orchestra, Franco Battiato let slip a piece of news, that is the possible participation of Carla in the next Sanremo Festival, with one or two songs written by him…

On December 18, Fabio Fazio (the show presenter, TN), will announce the names of the contestants and so we’re  eagerly waiting for this day to get to learn what will it be…

Meanwhile, as mentioned above, the Verona recorded live has been released; in it, besides Antony’s beautiful voice and the wonderful songs of Battiato, two gems, sung by him together with Carla, shine bright: the historic “I Treni di Tozeur” and “La Realtà Non Esiste”, written by Claudio Rocchi.

SEPTEMBER 2, VERONA ARENA

Translation by Davide Andreis

12.18 PM   In a beautiful late summer morning we leave for Verona, sure that this will be a day to be kept among our best memories.

From the reports of the Sunday concert in Florence we already have a good idea about what to expect tonight, and most probably the charm of the Arena will only make the event even more magic.

2:32 AM, September 3  Back on the road on the highway to return home after an evening truly unique, spectacular in its entirety…

Stepping into the Arena for a concert is an indescribable feeling that expands during the evening while, fascinated by the show, we wait anxiously for Carla to take the stage.

Antony’s wonderful performance delighted us… His voice moved us deeply and his charisma invaded us gently.

After a brief pause Franco Battiato began his part of the show and we got taken into a completely different atmosphere with the most famous songs from his repertoire of the past. Only two or three songs from ”Apriti Sesamo”. Definitely exciting and addictive…

And then… And then along came Carla… And the time stopped … and our breaths too…

“La Realtà non Esiste” is the title of the beautiful song by Claudio Rocchi –recently passed away- that Carla performed masterfully with Battiato. This was followed by “I Treni di Tozeur” and finally, Carla solo gave us a magnificent version of “Il Vento Caldo dell’Estate”, which preserved its charm, unchanged over time.

A short time, but always magic.

ALICE TO PERFORM AS FRANCO BATTIATO’S GUEST IN FLORENCE AND VERONA

Translation by Davide Andreis

The official news today (source: Adnkronos) is the participation of Alice in the concerts that Battiato will give along with Antony and the Johnsons in Florence, at the Mandela Forum on August 31, and at the Verona Arena on September 2. Two truly unmissable concerts in which the artists will be accompanied by the Arturo Toscanini Philarmonic Orchesta and by their respective musicians.

“Rome, August 23 (Adnkronos) – Two extraordinary artists for two unique evenings:
August 31 at the Mandela Forum in Florence and September 2 at the Verona Arena.
The show will see the alternation of concerts by Franco Battiato and Antony and the Johnsons, where each artist will propose his repertoire.
The participation of Alice as a guest is confirmed on both dates: the sophisticated artist will perform some songs with Battiato.
Battiato and Antony and the Johnsons have worked in the past in the duet “Del Suo Veloce Volo” from the album ‘Fleurs 2’ (2008), an adaptation in Italian by Battiato-Sgalambro of “Frankenstein”, the original song by Antony and the Johnsons.

The two performances will be accompanied on stage by the Arturo Toscanini Philarmonic Orchestra. Established in 2002, it’s ‘the point of excellence of the Arturo Toscanini Foundation production, gained in the arts in more than thirty years experience of the Orchestra Regionale Emilia Romagna and in ancient musical tradition that has its roots in the historical Orchestra Ducale of Parma, reorganized by Niccolo Paganini.
For Antony and the Johnsons: Thomas Bartlett on piano, Rob Moose as Conductor.
For Franco Battiato: Carlo Guaitoli on piano and conducting. Also on stage Angelo Privitera, keyboards and programming, and then Davide Ferrario on guitar, Simon Tong on guitar, Andrea Torresani on bass and Giordano Colombo on drums. ”
Adnkronos

ALICE AND BATTIATO IN CONCERT IN LATINA ON JULY 30 – BY AUGUSTO CINELLI

Translation by Davide Andreis

We’ve received and very gladly publish this concert review, written with great intelligence and impartiality by Augusto Cinelli. Thanks Augusto!

An undisputed Master and a great artist who enchants with her class. Franco Battiato and Alice, since 33 years from their first artistic encounter which marked the beginning of the success of Carla Bissi (the real name of the artist from Forlì, who in that year changed her stage name Alice Visconti into Alice, simply), got wonderfully together on stage last night, Tuesday, July 30, 2013, at the Grandi Eventi Arena in the Latina Expo fairgrounds, for a double concert that had the flavor of a unique, and probably unrepeatable, event.

The beautiful evening of Latina, a nearly three-hour show, including of course the performance of the two together, which to be honest, could have been much longer, has been propitiated by the recent simultaneous comeback with a record and a tour of both the Sicilian singer-songwriter and the artist from Forlì. In the fall of 2012 Battiato released the amazing “Apriti Sesamo” that got a significant sales success, which was followed by the successful omonimous theater tour which recorded four “sold-out” nights at the Conciliazione Auditorium in Rome. Alice, as far as she’s concerned, has come back in September with an unpublished work after 14 years since her last (“Exit”, in ’98, which, however, the talented performer, composer and musician has backed up with numerous concerts in original contexts, and some CDs which included re-interpretations, anthologies, the search for the sacred in music, and a live record). In “Samsara”, this is the title of her new interesting work, brought up to theaters last winter, Alice sang songs written for her by Tiziano Ferro, Mino di Martino and the same Battiato, along with something of her own and her tributes to two great bereaved artists such as Lucio Dalla and Giuni Russo.

The concert of Latina therefore offered to an enthusiastic and particularly intrigued -by such a scheming pair- public a taste of both tours, sone curtailed, for obvious reason of time, songs from the theater concerts playlists, as well as, unfortunately, some interesting videos projected in the indoor evenings. And the icing on the cake came naturally from the moment of the show in which the two were both on stage to reinterpret some great “couple” hits of the eighties. Right the years in which, as mentioned, Battiato and Alice climbed the charts in Italy and a good part of Europe. For Battiato the spark with the audience flashed up with the album “L’era del Cinghiale Bianco”, actually released in ’79, and “Patriots” to explode, however, with “La Voce del Padrone “, the first album to sell in Italy, between 1981 and 1982, more than one million copies. In the same year comes the surprise Alice, with whom, and along with the help of close friend Giusto Pio, Battiato first manufactures the album “Caponord” , driven by the single “Il Vento caldo dell’Estate”, and then, in ’81, the song “Per Elisa”, which surprisingly won that year’s edition of the Sanremo Festival. From there, other successful collaborations followed, with the climax of “I Treni di Tozeur”, a song in which the duo-Battiato Alice obtains a flattering placement at the 1984 Eurofestival, event tha year hosted in Luxembourg, followed by increasing sales and audience success in most parts of Europe.

Although never completely divided, the artistic path of the two then took different directions: the original and eclectic path of Battiato, between masterpieces of pop music, forays in Opera music and film directing and the musical and interpretive breaktrough of Alice, who immediately after her ’85 work “Gioelli Rubati”, entirely dedicated to the interpretation of Battiato’s songs, with the amazing “Park Hotel” in 1986, perhaps her best record overall, takes on a very personal direction, thanks to the collaboration with Francesco Messina and prestigious names in the international music scene such as Tony Levin, Jerry Marotta and Phil Manzanera. And though the charts would then host her again in ’89 with the sophisticated “Il sole nella Pioggia”, the musical production of Alice, while getting away from the most obvious and profitable channels of commerce, has nonetheless not lost any glaze over the past two decades. Indeed, it unfolded on original and brave territories, away from the general audience and with rare quality results, revealed above all in live performances, even, at some points in time, in churches and cathedrals of the Italian peninsula.

After all these years, to see them together, Master Franco Battiato from Riposto (Catania), 68 years of joie de vivre, and elegant Carla Bissi, aka Alice, who doesn’t look her age at all, charming smile, voice-and hair- still wonderful like in the golden years, one gets the impression that time has stopped, and the certainty that, thirty years later, “class will out”. And if Battiato confirms the natural ability to enthrall the audience, the real gem of the evening is Alice’s performance, who sings (and plays the piano at times) beautifully, alternating bass tones of her emotional voice in always enviable performances, and she interprets her songs, almost all of the last “Samsara”, with a unique and elegant style that reflects the space that she has gained in the Italian music scene, supported by introspective, intense and atmosphere music, thanks to the young and talented band that accompanies her (Marco Guarnerio on keyboards and guitars, Osvaldo Di Dio on guitars, Andrea Viti on bass and Nik Taccori on drums).

After the opening of the concert, carried out by four songs of the young Sicilian singer Giovanni Caccamo, produced by Battiato, comes Alice, greeted with warmth and affection by the audience, that bestows on her long, heartfelt acknowledgments; she takes the stage for the first hour of the evening, performing, by the way, not-so-easy songs , such as “Autunno Già”, in which texts by Rimbaud and Verlaine are set to music, and the two tracks of the new album written by her: “Sui giardini del mondo” and ” Orientation” (which narrates -as she explains herself- the need to envision each other without the prejudices of our thought patterns) and the yearning “Morire d’Amore”, dedicated to Joan of Arc, in which Alice summons Dostoyevsky and his “beauty will save the world “. Then there’s the song “of the great Franco Battiato,” the fatalist “Eri con Me”and “Il cielo”, a tribute to Lucio Dalla, all included in “Samsara”. The hit single of the album cannot be missing, that “Nata Ieri” written for her “by an artist who was born right here in Latina: Tiziano Ferro”. In the mini-concert of Alice (all in all 14 tracks) there is also room, from her last work, for the wonderful “Un Mondo a Parte”, touching ode to loving each other in the life as a couple, and, among the old songs, “Dammi la Mano Amore” (written, says the artist, almost as the only possible reaction to the suffering of which she was a direct witness, in the wake of a humanitarian association of doctors in the former Yugoslavia’s war), “Anin a Gris”, a poem in the Friulan dialect by Maria di Gleria, the beautiful “Nomadi” “by the great Juri Camisasca”, Il Sole nella Pioggia”, by the same Camisasca, song which, in ’89-’90, hauled the album to the top charts positions. It’s a shame that Alice did not perform, as had done in the winter stages of the tour, the hits that made her popular, such as “Per Elisa”, “Il Vento Caldo dell’Estate” and “Messaggio”, which, especially in the exclusive concert with Battiato, could be well expected and that, apparently, she had also rehearsed before the concert. Likewise, the more attentive fans maybe would not have disliked another song from the eighties by the Sicilian singer-songwriter, among those reinterpreted by Alice in the ’85 album “Giuoielli Rubati”, or, to mention again the record production of Alice, a bit more from the wonderful album “Park Hotel” or a song from the latest CDs. But that was it: the double concert formula did not allow to give more, even though the audience, when Alice announced that her performance was almost over, manifested its displeasure. Yes, because, as mentioned, if the huge audience that follows live Franco Battiato has enjoyed in recent years more performances of the Master, the ones who appreciate Alice, and maybe followed her with fidelity and admiration even in the two decades of her more secluded career, would not want to come off too early from the emotion and magic of her voice, the rarefied and intimate sounds, the lyrics, never dull, in which life, poetry, love and pain chase each other and make us meditate.

When it’s Battiato’s turn to go on stage with his more crowded band (in addition to Carlo Guaitoli on piano, Angelo Privitera on keyboards, the wild Davide Ferrario on guitars, Andrea Torresani on bass and Giordano Colombo on drums, there are also the strings of the Nuovo Quartetto Italiano), the audience is immediately captured from the start, when the artist from Catania, who, in summer, does not give up to sit on his inseparable Persian rug, presents one after the other four rich episodes of his last “Apriti Sesamo”, starting with the beautiful “Un Irresistibile Richiamo”, which chorus contains a quote from St. Teresa of Avila, continuing with “Quando ero GIovane”, a distinctly autobiographical song in which Battiato sings that “to live is a gift made from heaven,” then “Passacaglia”, catchy and provocative, inspired by a poem of a priest of the seventeenth century, and “La Polvere del Branco”, ruthless analysis of the mistaken idea of ​​freedom in modern society. During the time he sings alone, between a joke and another with the audience, Battiato ruffles expectations, as usual, by including in the playlist, even in spite of the choices of the winter tour, extraordinary songs of his more than thirty year- old repertoire, such as “Il Re del Mondo” (which “keeps our heart captive”…) and “Un’altra vita”, with which at the beginning of the eighties, he sang the inevitable alienation caused by the stress and noise of the busy city life. Before meeting with Alice, there is still time for the masterpiece “La Stagione dell’Amore” and two other surprises, taken from the first of three “Fleurs” albums in which Battiato has reinterpreted classics of the sixties and seventies that he himself introduces as two songs composed by two great musicians: “La Canzone dell’Amore Perduto” by Fabrizio de André and “La Canzone dei Vecchi Amanti”, by Jacques Brel.

In the middle of his performance, the Master calls Alice back on stage for the most exclusive and catching moment of the evening. And immediately an amused Battiato took the opportunity to calmly explain to the audience the backgrounds of their 1984 participation in Luxembourg to that Eurofestival which confirmed the success of the couple with “I Treni di Tozeur”. Heartily laughters come up while listening to the story, from which it is learned that this performance was, at the beginning, strongly desired only by the music-industry managers and accepted by Battiato with a bit of reluctancy; however the two artists had a big success on the festival’s stage and made a big European hit out of it. Alice listens amused and, without commenting, takes her seat at the piano to kick off the first song sung with his friend Franco, that “Prospettiva Nevski” which remains one of the most beautiful poems in the Battiato’s style of pop music. Great interpretation of both, with Alice’s voice that smoothly touches majestic tones. Then there is, of course, “I Treni di Tozeur”, a wonderful song of memories, melancholy and Tunisians landscapes, and it really seems to hear the trains of the “border villages” passing by. The duets end up (too early, though!), with a third episode that Battiato defines with his usual frankness, “one of those so-so”, the rhythmic “Chanson Egocentrique”. The audience remembers well the years of those songs and can only feel grateful admiration for the two artists who, with those songs, gave moments of unforgettable musical beauty…

The audience was worked into a frenzy and then Alice goes backstage again, not before she had affectionately hugged Master Battiato. With the hidden hope that the duo would possibly encore later, we resume listening to the Battiato only, who gives “La Cura”, one of the songs with the highest musicality and poetic inspiration of his career (why, this one too, not sang along with Alice who had already given a sublime live interpretation of it a few years before, which then was recorded in in the live album “Lungo la strada” in 2009? …). 
Then followed the surprise of “Tutto l’Universo Obbedisce all’Amore”, song wich the musician of Catania recorded with the voice of Carmen Consoli in the opening of “Fleurs 2”. And after the magnificent “E ti Vengo a Cercare”, in which he sings the need to “seek the One above good and evil”, there the party obviously begins, especially with the hits from the album “La Voce del Padrone” (Bandiera Bianca, Cuccurucucu, Centro di Gravità Permanente), and, with the audience now standing and many fans below the stage dancing and singing out loud, then follow “L’Era del Cinghiale Bianco”, “Voglio Vederti Danzare” and the most recent rant “Inneres Auge”.

It’s fifteen minutes past midnight when the curtain falls on the show in the cozy outdoor location of the Arena Grandi Eventi at the Latina Expo.

After emotions and great music we leave with the certainty of having witnessed a unique event which, with the regret of not having enjoyed most from Alice and some more duets, has set on stage one of the highest and original chapters of the last decades in the history of Italian pop music.

Augusto Cinelli

JULY 30, 2013 – LATINA, EXPO AREA ALICE AND BATTIATO IN CONCERT

Translation by Davide Andreis

5:46 PM. It’s a hot summer day. We’re here in front of the Arena after having struggled to find it.
Yes, because the good old Flavio, who has always been allergic to navigators, today couldn’t take a step if not only did he have his GPS, but also the satellite map!! We are delighted, however, knowing that we’re about to experience an absolutely outstanding music event! Battiato is rehearsing “Bandiera Bianca”,by the way 🙂

6:00 PM They’re rehearsing “Chanson Ègocentrique”!! Flavio and I are in complete ecstasy :))))))

Ok, I (Flavio) will have had to manage with GPSs and various maps, but Cristina hasn’t noticed the nice breeze that blew in the afternoon in Latina making the wait less tiring than it could have been… 😀
Carried by the wind coming from the Arena, the voices of Carla and Battiato rehearsing reach us every now and then, while we’re having different sandwiches and fries (healthy food!), not to mention the various beers that increase our BAC 😉 Anyway there is plenty of time to wear the alcohol off, the concert will be long and none of us in the meantime will need to drive…
It’s Giovanni Caccamo, a young artist produced by Battiato, the one who start the evening with four of his songs, then Carla’s concert begins with a shortened program of the songs presented during the Samsara Tour.
She’s in great shape! She sings for about an hour giving to the public, as always, strong emotions…
We always feel ‘the Contact’ with Carla…
The start is with three beautiful, gentle songs: “Autunno Già”, “Sui giardini del mondo” and “Morire d’amore”… and so she let us enter barefoot in her world of infinite sweetness and sensitiveness…
Then this moment of intimate sensations full of charm is just a little paused by the introduction of “Nata Ieri” (we are in the hometown of the author).
It is a succession of delicate and suspended moments, while the songs are flowing fast, in a time that is always too short: and too bad that evidently the time to perform three songs lacked, three songs that surely the audience, even Battiato’s, expected to hear and would have appreciated with enthusiasm: “Il Vento Caldo dell’Estate”, “Per Elisa” and “Messaggio”, even though Carla rehearsed them in the afternoon and that I, personally, really missed in this beautiful and exciting summer evening…
After Carla, Battiato gives out the best of himself with his musicians and string quartet: a fast pace and flawless performance of some songs from his latest work “Apriti Sesamo” and other among its biggest and best-loved hits. The he calls Carla on stage to sing with her three songs (only three songs), and then he finishes his hour and a half concert with the affectionate “delirium” of his fans and those of Carla, who, maybe, expected something more from this, nonetheless, wonderful evening.
Yes, because something was missing at this show… perhaps the most important thing. Needless to say, we expected more. More than the expectable and more than the obvious. In short, we expected “the event”, that event that, for some reason, lacked…
We dreamed of hearing Battiato sing along with Carla “Eri con me”, “La Cura”, “L’Ombra della Luce”. We wonder why this unique opportunity wasn’t caught…
In the wake of “Prospettiva Nevski” it could have been a different Alice-Battiato concert, worth of these two awsome artists of equal and great value.
Two artists who walked along, at the same time, nearby and far-away paths, two people who, in the name of coherence and love for the Music, have always coureageously made their own choices…
Yes, something was missing, perhaps a fair exchange, which could have made the evening unforgettable…
We, unfortunately, didn’t feel “the Contact” with Battiato, despite having sang and jumped and closed our eyes following his melodies we well know and appreciate… But the emotion with him (and it’s our own  feeling, a very personal opinion, therefore debatable), the emotion of the emotional exchange, we were saying, that was missing with him…
Carla, instead, as usual, has touched our souls, beyond the space and time limits which were granted…


The evening’s playlist:

Autunno già
Sui giardini del mondo
Morire d’amore
Nata ieri
Dammi la mano amore
Eri con me
Il cielo
L’era del mito
Un mondo a parte
Anin a gris
Orientamento
Il contatto
Nomadi
Il sole nella pioggia

in a duet with Battiato:

Prospettiva Nevski
I treni di Tozeur
Chanson Egocentrique

JUNE 24, 2013 MILANESIANA

Translation by Davide Andreis 

How long has it been since I took a train to a concert of Carla? Since 2007, precisely November 23, 2007, when, together with Cristina, I travelled to Taranto for a date of “Lungo la strada”… And we keep unforgettable memories of that day…
Well, in six years many things have changed and trains are one of them! 🙂
This time, no kilometers by car, no pit-stops at various service areas… just a comfortable trip on a semi-deserted and silent train.
From the large windows, the landscape from Rome to Milan seems to flow. The lush green of the cultivated fields, the clear blue of the windy sky, the white of clouds moving low.
From time to time I hear fragments of conversations, and, out of curiousity, I imagine for a moment the lives of other travelers.

Once in Milan Central Station I take the subway to the Cathedral, a few minutes trip, and from there I continue towards the theater on foot, camera in hand…

After an hour of waiting I see Carla arriving by car: she quickly steps into the theater as the musicians are already there waiting for her to rehearse, and so I’m off to take some other pictures…
Around 6 pm I sit with friends at a bar outdoor table in front of the theater, it’s cocktail and chat time… We spot Battiato while we’re there, and we all think that maybe he’ll sing with Carla … We’ll see!

Shortly after 9 pm, in the theater, the event is introduced by Elisabetta Sgarbi, who presents the guests that will read their short writings related to the topic of this edition of Milanesiana, ‘The Secret’, before the concert.
About an hour goes by with the interesting readings, but for me it’s quite hard to summarize them here, then Carla opens her performance with “Un mondo a parte”. Along with the great musicians who accompanied her in the winter tour she sings with true emotion some of her songs and a prèmiere, Shakespeare’s “Sonnet no.29”, a beautiful and delicate interpretation.

After 4 months since the last date of the tour I’m again involved in the magical atmosphere one can feel at Carla’s concerts. Through the renewed emotions I let myself be enchanted by the beauty of an artist whose sensitivity has certainly had a positive effect on my sensitivity, and on the sensitivity of anyone else who is able to open his/her own heart to the listening of a voice that, once inside us, stays there forever.

Eight songs in all and three encores. The last, sung with Franco Battiato, is the ever-present and always wonderful “Prospettiva Nevski”, of which the author, perhaps excited, forgets some pieces, repeating others already sung… and Carla smiling while playing the keyboard “Yes, but go ahead…”.
A beautiful evening, truly.

The playlist

Un mondo a parte
Come il mare
Sonnet no.29 by Shakespeare
A cchiù bella
Orientamento
Il sole nella pioggia
Eri con me
Autunno già

Encores

Il vento caldo dell’estate
Chanson egocentrique
Prospettiva Nevski

ALICE GUEST AT WILKOMMEN BEI CARMEN NEBEL – FEBRUARY 16, 2013

Translation by Davide Andreis 

Alice, on the occasion of the recent release in Germany of her new album SAMSARA, appeared as a guest of one of the most-watched TV programs of the German channel ZFD, “Willkommen bei Carmen Nebel”.
She performed the lead single, “Nata Ieri” (Born Yesterday), written by Tiziano Ferro.

http://www.zdf.de/ZDFmediathek/beitrag/video/1841628/Alice-Nata-Ieri