This post is also available in: Italian

A surprise at every turn, this was the excitement that greeted us once we had crossed the threshold of the library door of Fiuggi to join the audience for a concert of classical music.

I have listened to a lot of classical music but I could not understand the style of these melodies: they seemed to be a marriage between Ciociaria and something else I did not understand.

The three musicians involved who performed with a particular serenity the pieces were Olena Kurchina, a Ukrainian mandolinist, Alessandro Maziotti, who played zampogna and flutes, and Benito Talone, the guitarist and also the son of the composer.

In fact, the music was written by ‘Federicuccio’ Talone, a strange character born in 1897 and belonging to that generation of boys who fought the First World War.

Federico Talone had been taken prisoner in Austria and for his musical gifts he had been told to play for the orchestra to excite the  officers to dance.

The dance music was polke, mazurke and waltz and then Federico learned these rhythms and harmony. But not only. In the orchestra there were other musicians from other countries, from as far as Scotland and Russia, and everyone brought something of his own tradition.

Once back home, Federico began composing music like the ‘Mazurka di Montefortino’ (the ancient name of Artena) creating his own musical style, the result of improbable interpretations.

The effect was absolutely unique, not just pleasant and the quality of the musicians has made everything even more exciting.

Thanks to Daniele Baldassarre for his invitation and for the work that for years has lead to the enhancement of all the excellence of our territories.

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Traveller's Guide to Italy