Spotlight: From Italy, with love

Published January 24, 2016
Claudio Carallaro (clarinet) and Massio Spada (piano)
Claudio Carallaro (clarinet) and Massio Spada (piano)

A programme featuring Italian musicians, Napa students and faculty held at the National Academy of Performing Arts featured a divine performance by Claudio Carallaro on the clarinet and Massio Spada on the piano, playing the notes of the famous Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi and Paganini. The soft, lilting and melodious music was different from the robust western classical style.

Here, Claudio Caralloro explains to Images on Sunday why it was so.

Your music was very soft unlike the classical music of other western countries?

Italian classical music is soft compared to German, French and other western countries because we focus on melody and the tone is thus soft. All Italian classical music is based on opera-singing focusing on the tenor, so the music has to be soft-pitched.

The difference between western and eastern classical music?

The difference is great. We have different stories, traditions, instruments and different styles which have contributed to the development of the music of the two different cultures, but the emotions that music gives are certainly the same for all, regardless of its origin. What we discovered in the few days we have been here is that in Pakistan there is a lack of professional musicians for western classical music. In this regard Pakistan has to do more.


“Italian classical music is soft compared to other western countries because we focus on melody and the tone is thus soft. All Italian classical music is based on opera-singing focusing on the tenor, so the music

has to be soft-pitched.”

Your experience of the collaboration with Napa and the local musicians?

The fusion experience was wonderful and I wish we had more time to do fusion music with them but our stay was very short. It was a pleasure to listen to their music and learn about the traditions, and there was certainly a mutual enrichment about the music on both sides.

We thank Zia Mohyeddin, the teachers and students of Napa for their warm reception.

Do you have any suggestions for young Pakistani musicians?

From our conversation with the students of Napa, we understand that the Pakistani government does not allocate enough funds for promotion of its culture and arts. But we appreciate the fact that despite the lack of resources musicians are still working hard and making sure that their passion produces fruitful results.

We realise they have to struggle a lot to gain more space and recognition in the field of arts. We have encouraged them to listen and study Italian music and history. We know that your country is going through problems and even our country has been facing some political and economic problems, but we are certain that music and culture will help us overcome them.

Usually foreigners are afraid to travel to Pakistan. How did you find Pakistan during your brief stay here?

We came at the invitation of the Italian Consul-General in Karachi Gianluca Rubagotti. We are grateful to him for this wonderful opportunity to know a country so distant from us and with a different culture.

To be honest we were a bit fearful because unfortunately Pakistan, in Europe, is mostly known for negative situations related to violence and extremism and not for its natural beauty and its diverse culture. We have visited only Karachi and we find it a very vibrant, huge and friendly city.

Would you like to revisit Pakistan sometime soon?

Of course! We only visited one city and there are many more places to be seen here. And we have seen for ourselves that the country is not what it is portrayed on the media abroad, so we are not frightened of coming again.

Published in Dawn, Sunday Magazine, January 24th, 2016

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