Andrea Pellegrini

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Bruno Tommaso

Original Soundtrack from 'Charles and Mary'

Onyx Jazz Club, 2013

To understand a Soundtrack. A guide

By Bruno Tommaso

Notes by Andrea Pellegrini

1 - Wedding March #1

As every other marriage, the one between Carlo Gesualdo and Maria D'Avalos deserves a Wedding March. Given the particular personality of the husband, no sense to play an existing one: we had to compose a new, exclusive one. The strange composer ingaged (myself) takes care of this, writing a multi-melody composition, not disregarding embarassing quotings: among them, a short melodic quote shows my hostility to the politic system leading my nation today (note by Andrea Pellegrini: it's a quote form the Inno dell'Internazionale Comunista: : track #1, 1'19”). The composer (me) perceives by intuition the sad end of the story, closing the tune with two chords built on a half-tone interval.

2 - La Chiave

The Key

Carlo shows great love for music; not the same love he dedicates to his wife. Thus she equipes herself with a more available lover: the Count Fabrizio Carafa. To manage their meetings in a proper way (cars with folding seats were not been invented yet!), Maria makes a copy of the key of her noble house in Naples, so that the young Count can use it every time Carlo is out of sight.

3 - La pulce nell'Orecchio

A flea in the ear

(In Italian, we say someone "puts a flea in someone's ear” when someone suggests a hint to someone else about some secret; and a secret becomes a “Pulcinella's Secret” when, instead of being unknown, evryone knows it, because Pulcinella, the italian famous character, see, he was totally unable to mantain secrets).

But the love affair between Maria and the Count is a “Pulcinella's secret”. The Carlo's relatives urge and press him to wash the scandal with blood (see the quick chromatic passages...) (track #3, 0'40”). Carlo does not care for that in the beginning, but after a while he yelds and plans a solution.

A collective orchestral impro, leaded by the conductor – Bruno Tommaso - leads to track #4.

4 - Falsa Battuta di Caccia

A false chase

Carlo says to Maria he has to leave for a chase in the morning. Before dawn he wakes up, prepare himself and goes away along with some faithful servant, but, instead of going to a chase, he lurks himself around a corner.

5 - Messaggera d'Amore

A messenger of Love

The trap works perfectly. A servant of Maria's goes to the Count and tells him the house is free and Maria is waiting for him. The Counts makes his way to his lover, which he reaches in a while.

The typical “tormentone” of quavers (a “tormentone” is a phrase, a gag, an item repeated many times in a theatre play or music composition) can recall a famous film by Losey.

6 - Killing Lovers

Carlo breaks into the bedroom and kills Maria and Fabrizio.

7 - Fuga al Castello 1

A Breakaway to the Castle, #1

Being a noble, Carlo did not fear the law. But he was forced to escape away 'cause of the sure revenge of the relatives of the Count. He hides himself in the Venosa castle.To descrive this fugue, what is better than a ... fugue? (Track #7).

8 - Rosso Cardinale

(Italian name of a color: it means “red as the vest of a Cardinal”, who is a catholic priest chief, nominated by the Pope)

The Cardinal Borromeo (, a powerful uncle of Carlo's, succeed in obtaining the relatives's forgiveness. Will they make him a Saint, for this reason? Will they set up a statue to him near the Maggiore lake (see History books do not speak about this...!

9 - Fuga al Castello 2

A Breakaway to the Castle, #2

As a matter of fact, Carlo Gesualdo is now free to go out of his Castle and go back to his favorite activities, as music. Dangerous would be to go back to Naples. He also is too sad to go back to the places where the terrible story took place. Therefore, he decides to move north to Ferrara, a town with a rich musical scene. The theme is the same of track # 7, but less worried, more arioso (= full of air, of space).

10 - Fredde Accoglienti Mura

Cold, cozy walls (halls)

But Ferrara is not Naples, and not only because of climatic conditions! (Southern Italian people is considered to be more warm and friendly than northern italian people).

Carlo is welcomed with courtesy and interest, especially by the musicians living there, and by the Court ruling the town, but also regarded with a certain suspicion. Anyway he turns back to composition with great creativity.

11 - Wedding March #2

History books do not tell about that, but, doing it for love or for necessity, he decides to get married again. The lucky chosen one is Eleonora d'Este (daughter of

12 - Il Blues dei 314 Servi

The 314 Servants Blues.

The Court in Ferrara surely had a full bondage at its disposal. I can't be precise about the number of the servant... but I love to think, that the number was 314: the italian parliament members, today, who voted for real kibosh and absurd stories about the italian Premier in charge (Bruno wrote these notes in 2011). Can we call them “honorable Parliament Members”? No: “servants”. Easy to understand who we are talking about... but anyway I can give you a clue, inviting you to carefully listen to the unshamed quote inside the blues theme (track #12. Note: the quote is taken from the hymn of the italian party called Forza Italia, 0'30” - 0'34” and again 0'49” - 0'54”, leaded by Silvio Berlusconi, today finally condemned after more than 20 years of criminal trials, and expelled from the italian Senate).

13 - Funebre


Carlo Gesualdo da Venosa seemed to overcome evry trobuble; nothing seemed to arrest his artistic and human adventure. But suddenly his son dies. Carlo cannot survive to this for long. He dies in his Naples.