On the centenary of the birth of Giovanni Testori (1923-1993)
Interrogatorio a Maria
for mezzosoprano, choir, and ensemble

text by Giovanni Testori
music by Danilo Comitini

mezzosoprano Daniela Pini

Coro Ecce Novum
choirmaster Silvia Biasini
LaCorelli Ensemble
conductor Jacopo Rivani

commissioned by Ravenna Festival

Giovanni Testori’s ‘sacred’ play Interrogatorio a Maria, performed by the Compagnia dell’Arca in the Brescia Cathedral in November 1979, is a dialogue between a chorus seeking consolation about life and death “in the evening that burns and glows / in the shadow that too quickly / falls / and prepares to die”, and Mary, the Mother of Christ, “already clothed in years, / covered in agony and pain”. She replies by comparing her own motherhood and life to the existence of her interlocutors. Testori’s play has now been set to music for the first time by Comitini, whose scoring feeds off the dialogues and almost takes part in them, giving substance to the tensions embodied in the faith of each worshipper and in the love that they get from it. Contrasting strings and brass reflect the dual nature of the encounter, filtering its far-reaching force with sounds and silences.

The Programme