Camussi / Gavazzeni / Valerio - Il Volto Della Vergine | RECORD STORE DAY

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The Florentine Ezio Camussi (1877-1956) was judged by Leoncavallo "a sure promise of our art" and supported at thepublisher Sonzogno by Boito and Massenet. The libretto of Il Volto della Vergine by Paolo Buzzi is based on an ancient Christian legend, a miracle that occurred around 1425 in Florence. Fra Angelico is frescoing the Convent of San Marco and finds himself in difficulty in sketching the face of the Madonna. The teenage daughter of the gardener Fiorenzo, Grazia, beautiful and ill, asks to meet the painter, is enchanted by his work, and as she confesses to him her dreamed love for the young and handsome Lionello, the features of her face are miraculouslytransmitted to the image of the Virgin painted by Fra Angelico. The maiden dies.Camussi chooses a distinctly melodic language, both in the vocal writing and in the transparent orchestral support; he does not allow himself to be influenced by the solemn and declamatory examples of Pizzetti and Malipiero, and manages to create scenes of captivating, even if not very personal, singing, employing a technique of recurring thematic fragments, starting from those of the delicate Prelude.In this score, let's think of the mystical "tale" of Fra Angelico, of his prayer to the Virgin "Canta, Mistica Rosa" which Buzzi himself modeled as a sweet song, of Grazia's narration of her meeting with Lionello, of the intervention of the Novices "Divin splendor" which brightly closes the act.