Riccardo Castagnetti (1977)
Works for Organ and harpsichord
Riccardo Castagnetti’s compositions would appear to remind us that tradition, in its most exact sense, is a depository of forms that never lose their vitality. These forms are codes to be used to compose, write and communicate, but our debt with tradition cannot be paid by wrapping contemporary contents up in age-old packaging, as if to imitate past styles with attempts at mannerism. Modern life, with its artistic and cultural mutations, crises, and “affliction” does, in fact, penetrate these forms, transforming, possessing and deforming tradition, and ending in derision and mistrust. The tragic and grotesque turn into games, mazes and complexities. Tradition is pushed further and further towards new horizons, in search of lightness and simplicity, in the knowledge that it is impossible to synthesise. Tragedy and comedy mix and a piece of ragtime makes way for a gigue or happens on a passepied. The compositions by Riccardo Castagnetti – whose smile shows he never takes himself seriously - remind us that we are part of a continuous dialogue in which we can neither have the first nor the last word. It is hard to distinguish between “old” and “new” and “pupil” and “teacher”, but there is a link between them and they are indebted to one another. A disc on which a teacher performs his pupil’s music confirms the necessity for a continuous exchange of ideas and expertise between generations.