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15 Questions to Frederic Zigante

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Hi! How are you? Where are you?
I live between two beautiful Italian towns: The quite French and former capital of the Country TORINO and the austro-hungarian TRIESTE.

What’s on your schedule right now?
I have just finished a tour of concerts in which I have performed on the baroque guitar (Robert de Visée) in the first part and on the classic guitar in the second part (Britten and Villa-Lobos). During the next two months I will be preparing a new repertory for my CD recordings and I will be working on my critical edition of Villa-Lobos' Etudes.

If you hadn’t chosen for music, what do you think you would do right now?
I would probably be a medical doctor or a politician. Someone who takes care of other people's problems.

What or who was your biggest influence as an artist?

My family's musicians: My father and my brother Manuel.

What’s the hardest part about being a musician and what’s the best?
The hardest part about being a musician is to often be alone and the best is to get emotion during a performance.

What’s your view on the classical music scene at present? Is there a crisis?
I haven't noticed any crisis. I am a little bit annoyed by crossovers but I do realize that it is just a fashion that will pass without too many damages.

Some feel there is no need to record classical music any more, that it’s all been done before. What do you tell them?

Oh, come on! An interpreter's task is to give life to emotions that are latent in the musical text not only to play them! This task will never end and will be always illustrated by  phonographic recording even if technologies change. There are still so many works to be discovered and recorded even for instruments like the guitar.

What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? What’s your approach to performing on stage?
A good live performance requires good technical standards and acceptable contents for the audience. If a perfomer has nothing to say and simply plays the music, he should stay home. What really matters is to transmit emotions and feeling.

What does the word “interpretation” mean to you?

Interpretation is a task: The one that mediates between the written text and the auditors. An interpreter has a great power in his hands because without him the work has no life and can't be heard. But his power can be negative and he can destroy music, modify it or misinterpret it. Just imagine what would happen if someone went to a museum and decided to change the colors on a painting: This is what some performers do sometimes, they even cut off some parts of the works!

How do you balance the need to to put your personal emotions into the music you play and the intentions of the composer?
It is necessary to know exactly what the composer intended but this isn't always possible on the only basis of the written text. After this reserach I bring out my personal emotions on the condition that they do not affect the composer's idea. This is how an interpreter and a composer can cope to "travel" together without any conflict.

True or false: People need to be educated about classical music, before they can really appreciate it.
False, the only thing about which people need to be educated is listening with curiosity: This is the way to discover beauty in all music, not only classical.

You are given the position of artistic director of a concert hall. What would be on your program for this season?
First I need a contract then I shall begin thinking about it!
But I know that I shall certainly not:
1) ask a classical musician to play some argentinian tangos
2) ask a lutist to play a Beatles' song
3) as a jazz player to perform one of Bach's Prelude and Fugue
4) ask any advice to friends and relatives

How would you describe the relationship with your instrument?
I have always a guitar with me but I still consider it  an instrument, nothing more. What really makes the difference is the music that is written for it.

Have you ever tried playing a different instrument? If yes, how good were you at it?
I play both baroque and classic guitar and I consider them two different instruments.

Recital (Drums Classic)
Mauro Giuliani (Frequenz Amadeus)
Nicolò PAGANINI The complete works for guitar (Europa Musica/ARTS)
Mauro Giuliani - Le Rossiniane (ARTS)
Heitor VILLA-LOBOS - Complete works for guitar (Stradivarius)
Louis SPOHR - Complete lieder for voice and guitar (Stradivarius)
Alexandre TANSMAN - Concertino, solo guitar (Stradivarius)
BACH - Complete lute music/Ciaccona (Stradivarius)
Napoléon COSTE - Guitar Works Vol. 2 (Naxos)
Música española (Stradivarius)

Frederic Zigante

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