I’m happy to report continuing interest in the great Pasquale Taraffo; three recent events in fact.
First, I’m proud to present a brand new 8000-word analysis of Taraffo’s musical role in Genoa and beyond, written by Giorgio De Martino, a prolific and respected Italian writer and lecturer on the world of opera. His remarkable, introspective piece will soon be published in the magazine, “Music,” with circulation throughout Italy. Meanwhile, it appears on Harpguitars.net in both English and Italian, and so will remain another lasting archival document on the history and culture of the harp guitar.
In an exclusive for the site, Giorgio concludes his piece with an interesting documentation of the theaters Taraffo played during his heyday. Thank you for your contribution, Giorgio! (with the always generous help of Franco Ghisalberti and translator Silvia Minas)
Another Taraffo tribute occurred on October 21 at the Festival della Scienza (Festival of Science), where Beppe Gambetta and Mike Marshall gave the usual incredible performance, with a special public presentation of the Taraffo film clip that Beppe had negotiated with the U.S. copyright holder. After the famous “Stefania” clip played, it remained it the background as Beppe and Mike performed their own contemporary version of it. You can see snippets of the event here. I got a kick out of seeing Beppe flatpick his steel-string Gazzo “copy” – a sort of “bluegrass meets Taraffo” – but, hey, it serves its purpose!
A week later, Franco and luthier Alberto Giordano (who you will remember from my Genoa trip series) spoke at a meeting at the Paganini Conservatory, which presented a short film by Roberto Locrasto, director of the Museo della Lanterna, that included the Taraffo footage and interviews with Beppe, Franco and Alberto (who discoursed at length on Genoese luthiers and harp guitars).
It is certainly heartwarming to see the increasing awareness of the harp guitar over there.
And meanwhile there is another stunning recording by Christian Saggese on its way to us.
Long live the maestro Taraffo!