Architecture with Music of Bepi de Marzi


A broad spectrum of sensations from architecture with music met the over 70 guests at the event, ‘Men, Forests and Design’ organized by architect Maurizio Signorini and held at the Villa Thiene in Quinto Vicentino.

The villa, constructed by Palladio in 1545, set a grand stage for the presentation of six architect collaborating with six different carpentering businesses from the Vicenza area, each presenting their designs to be implemented using local wood species. The project was supervised by Maurizio Signorini and Andrea Zenari.

It is inspired by two books of Mario Rigoni Stern, ‘Arboretum Salvatico’ and ‘Men woods and bees’, and aimed to enhance the use of local wood with an emphasis on history, culture and environment.

The over-supply of guests filled the ‘drawing room’ of the villa, a room of about 7 metre square with a magnificent fresco’d cupola some 6 metres above. Maurizio Signorini spoke on the ethics of construction, and we heard epistles on the beauty of local forests and trees of the Vicentino Pre-alps.

Interspersed with the presentations by the project participants, were intense and captivating readings by Nicola Brugnolo from the book ’Arboretum Salvatico’ and some magnificent musical architecture of Maestro Bepi de Marzi giving birth to architecture with music. Bepi is best known for his choir ‘I Crodaioli’ and his choral compositions, as well as his collaboration with Mario Stern. He is also an organist and a maestro of the keyboard, plus a wonderful teacher of music.

There was room for a grand piano at the front left hand side – and that is where the mastery of evening was created. Juxtaposed on the other side of the room was a lectern for a reader, with the project presentation area centred at the front where the architects and their artisans were encouraged to provide free-hand sketches of their sustainable timber solutions.

It was in this role as a teacher that Bepi captured the attention of the audience at Villa Thiene, building his musical structures from a simple note, ’middle C’, showing it in all its spectral opportunities, from pianissimo to forte, quaver to breve, staccato to legato -simple architecture with music.

An interval, and then we moved to the opportunities of a second C added to the first, with more ’music’ in the sound as intervals and treatment of each note varied. And then came the third, and we are brought to feel the onset of classical music through Rossini, Beethoven and Mozart, though the architecture is still planar, just one note in three different hues on the palate.

We await with expectation what Bepi has in his magic box. It is the fourth note: da,da,da, (and a tone lower) daa – and suddenly the glory of Beethoven is opened to us, in just four lessons of musicality and four simple notes, but combined with great architectural texture he gives us the beginning of a cathedral of music and song – great architecture with music.

Thanks Bepi, please come again. Thanks Maurizio, a fine panoply.