For a Verdi Opera
in the Verdi Tuning in 2001
At a conference of the Schiller Institute in July, 1999, the Italian organist, choir and orchestra conductor Arturo Sachetti, former artistic director of Vatican Radio, made a proposal to expand the campaign for the Verdi tuning for musical instruments, which the Schiller Institute began in 1988
Maestro Sachetti proposed that for the 100th anniversary of Verdi's death in 2001, in his home town of Busseto, Verdi operas be performed at the tuning in which they were written, at A=430 hz.
He said, "This project has been inspired by Mr. Lyndon LaRouche and his book "A Manual on Tuning and Registration" ("Canto e Diapason" in Italian, also available in German) which demonstrates the question of tuning in relation to each of the four voices...It is a rigorous project, because the idea is to create a stock of instruments which are strictly tuned to A=430. This stock of instruments will be put at the the disposal of young musicians who come to Busseto to learn how to play at the Verdi tuning, in a kind of permanent master class...
..."The instrumental part of the master class will be to teach instrumentalists and also conductors. After a period of studying and practicing this tuning, instrumentalists will be joined by the singers of the Bel Canto academy of Maestro Carlo Bergonzi, who has been holding regular bel canto master classes in Busseto for many years... "...This project will unleash a lot of polemics, mainly because a part of the international music world supports the high tuning, without any scientific motivation...."
..."With the Busseto project, we aim at achieving performances which respect scientifically, musically, and from the standpoint of interpretation, the creativity and intent of the composers."
* In 2001, the entire world will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the death of Giuseppe Verdi on Jan. 30,1901, including by attempting to revive his original operas. Giuseppe Verdi himself, in 1884, wrote a letter to the Music Commission of the Italian Government, proposing that the classical tuning of A=432HZ (equal C=256, scientific pitch) be adopted, in order to respect singing voices and promote classical interpretation.
He also asked the "whole music world" to also adopt this tuning too, since "music is a universal language, and why should an A in Paris be a B flat in Rome?"
Giuseppe Verdi refused to conduct his own opera, "La Forza Del Destino," in Naples, because the orchestra was tuned as high as A=450, as many opera theater orchestras, for example in Berlin, Salzburg, and Florence, are tuned today. *
In 1988, thousands of singers and musicians, among them the most famous opera stars from all over the world, endorsed a petition of the Schiller Institute, which called for a return to this "Verdi tuning." This petition was turned into a proposal for legislation in Italy the following year.
Not only opera music, but the whole classical repertoire can be preserved be reestablishing the connection between science and music, which was at the basis of scientific pitch, and reviving the bel canto tradition of singing in instrumental music as well.
Orchestras with historically tuned instruments exist for the Renaissance and Baroque music, but there is no permanent orchestra using the Verdi tuning, which is able to perform his operas(and also symphonic and chamber music of the 19th century) in the classical manner.
Because of these reasons, the undersigned would like to endorse, as an international honorary committee, the project of Maestro Arturo Sachetti and tenor Carlo Bergonzi, to establish, in Verdi's birthplace Busseto, a permanent orchestra and master class for both instrumentalists and singers in the Verdi tuning.
These musicians would aim to perform Verdi's operas, for the first time in history, in the tuning and color for which the composer wrote them, beginning during the celebration year 2001. They would also aim to create a permanent repertoire at A=432 Hz.
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