Luigi Verdi, Kandinsky e Skrjabin. Realtà e utopia nella Russia pre-rivoluzionaria, Akademos & Lim, Lucca, 1996.

Review by Alessandra Doria, in Alla Ribalta, giugno 1996, pp.13-14

Kandinskij and Skriabin in the news Luigi Verdi's book

The relation between music and painting, which will always fascinate and touch art scholars, is at the centre of an interesting book by Luigi Verdi, which has been recently presented at the Sala Mozart of the Accademia Filarmonica of Bologna. The title of the volume is “Kandinskij e Skrjabin. Realtà e utopia nella Russia pre-rivoluzionaria”, published this year by Akademos, under the patronage of CNR. This study, which is very rich in new and precious ideas, offers important materials, some of which have been translated into Italian for the first time by the Author himself who, in his established music career has always turned to the direction of art in all its forms and tried to enter, from the point of view of the theorist, the mystery of the creativity he himself attends to as a maestro. In introducing the volume, prof. Loretta Secchi, professor of History of Art at the Scuola di Scultura Applicata in Bologna, has emphasized the most relevant points in the original approaching Skrjabin and Kandinskij effected by Verdi. There comes out a fascinating cultural panorama, centred on the fusion of arts, on synaesthesia, the theorization of the Whole art, seen through the work of the great protagonists of the Russian and European life of the early 20th century. Both in composer Aleksandr Skrjabin’s  and in painter Vassilij Kandinskij’s arts, it is possible to find fundamental moments for many following artistic experiences: suffice it to think of the new intuitions on the colour-sound relation, of which both were fond, as well as the mystical-teosophical conception of the world, where each work of art can be source of occult cosmic resonance. Verdi writes in the introduction: “Both Skrjabin and Kandinskij belonged to this world all tending to the affirmation of a new spiritual order, imbued with mysticism and influenced by the occult sciences: therefore, their works have to be framed in the general cultural and artistic atmosphere of that time which, despite being accused of “decadence”, was one of the most intense and richest ages in the Russian  culture”. Luigi Verdi is not new to this kind of studies: essayist, composer and orchestra conductor, for a long time  he has been interested in the artistic events of Eastern Europe and is one of the founders of  the Centro Italiano di Studi Skrjabiniani in Bogliasco, near Genoa, where the composer lived at the beginning of 1900s and composed some of his masterpieces among which “The Poem of Ecstasy”. Artistic counsellor in the Accademia Filarmonica of Bologna, Verdi is also the organizer of the Slavia Festival and also Professor of Composition at the Martini Conservatoire in Bologna. The evening of the presentation of this new work, of course, also included a delightful moment of music all devoted to Skrjabin, with the performance of pianist Luisa Fanti, who properly ended the event by performing some of the Russian composer’s Studies and the Sonata no.1 op. 9 , winning the applauses of the wide audience: this was the conclusion of a meeting of the highest cultural value.

Alessandra Doria


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