An Evening at Civitella Ranieri

Our friend John sent us an email about a concert being held at Civitella Ranieri. It is a 15th century beautiful castle on top of a hill just outside of Umbertide. We decided to go last evening. Civitella Ranieri is a non-profit foundation (based in NYC) which hosts Fellows and guests who are musicians, writers or artists. Lucky Fellows! This place is magnificent and they cater to the artists every whim. The concerts are free and start with a reception with wine and snacks. Then the concerts starts around 6PM or so. They do it early because the artists go to dinner at the castle after the concert.

It was not what I expected at all. First off the castle was just amazing. Here are some pictures:




The room where the concert was held was one of the visiting artists studios. Each artist gets a private room and bathroom and a study or studio. Here is a picture during the performance:


There were 7 performances. They ranged from classic to extremely modern. The first one was a flutist. It involved a lot of percussive movements of the lips. Not my favorite. Next was a beautiful pair of songs played on the violin and sung by a mezzo-soprano. She had a beautiful voice full of passion. They were adapted from medieval French folk songs. I liked it. Then came a saxophone quartet. It was amazing and impossible to describe. Very modern but I liked it a lot. The next thing was a violinist. The piece was all harmonics. It was kind of “look what I can make my violin do”. It was interesting. It sounded like we were listening to the violin from a great distance. Sometimes it sounded like birds. Sometimes it reminded me of music from a film like The Exorcist. Then there was a flute and piano piece – modern too – the composer was sitting next to me. It was titled Ruin of the Cypress. Next was a pianist playing a very modern piece. Last was the mezzo-soprano and a pianist. The song was an ode to a sub-culture of Peruvian people who are oppressed. She sung it so plaintively! It made me cry.

It was a great evening and I look forward to going again soon.

Here are a couple more pictures. First is a flower in the garden and then a picture of the table set for the Fellows to eat dinner al fresco. Nice.



We returned to the apartment and a quick dinner. Here is the sunset from the apartment. So pretty!


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