|Milano, S. Maria presso S. Celso (photo by L. Ciampa, 12 August 2011)|
Two years ago I was in Milan during the Ferragosto. The city was empty. Empty. I had to play a concert the evening of August 14 in this abandoned city. I had little hope for a large audience. They arranged 300 chairs and printed 300 programs. 400 people came!
August 15 is the anniversary of the death of a rather interesting Southern Italian. Niccolò Piccinni (not the composer) was born in Castelsaraceno, a little town in the province of Potenza (Basilicata). He lived in Naples, where he died on 15 August 1768. He was a judge, but he was also a talented poet. He wrote poems in Italian, Latin, and Neapolitan. One of his poems was admired by Charles III. (During Piccinni's lifetime, prior to becoming King of Spain, Charles was King of the Two Sicilies.)
Such a capable poet should have written more poetry, a fact that even Piccinni himself regretted.
Chillo io, che grolia aggio d’avè mbrogliato
Sempe na Vicaria, mbroglià doveva
Certo primmo lo Boja ch’è chiammato
La justizia mperzona, e lo faceva.
Lo lodo io mo pe non esserle sgrato
Ca ncuollo e mane soje non me metteva
Eppure fetenno io d’essere acciso
Avria avuto pe isso a esse mpiso.