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Feuilleton Tuesday, 16. December 1997

Portrait

by Ronald Schäfer
(translated form the german original )

Guitarist for all Keys: The Italo-Berliner Carlo Marchione

The story is short and took place recently in a hotel in Cuba. A lively group of musicians had gathered, among them the renound guitarist David Russell, who claimed: "There is a man here, who can play all musical pieces in any key." "Impossible!" replied the others. And so the italian guitarist Carlo Marchione was requested to play the ouverture to the opera "Carmen" by Georges Bizet in G-major. He did it - and then again: this time in D-major.

Marchione, born 1964 in Rome, is considered - by experts - to be one of the most talented guitarists of the younger generation. For four years now, the former student of Mario Gangi has been living in Berlin, together with his dutch wive, who also is a guitarist. At this time Carlo Marchione cannot complain about too little appearance-possibilities: In the last four months he has given 28 concerts. "Now one could really start thinking of a holiday", comments Marchion -"of course not without guitarcase."

Why does he live in Berlin? "Here I have hopes for a better life. Not in an economic respect, since a post as a teacher at a conservatory in Italy would have been secured. But in Germany, culture plays a more important role, than in my home and other places in Europe." The flourishing cultural life in Germany, has however also got a down-side. The audiences are - especially in Berlin - very choosy. At this moment the concert-guitar does not belong to the favourites amongst the instruments. Even such well-known musicians as Pedro Soler, Pepe Romero und Eliot Fisk find it hard to fill the concert-halls.

"Of course", adds Marchione, "there is a 'rough wind' blowing here." The guitar (in general) bobs up and down like a ship in a storm, if one takes the audience-echo as measurement-device: But this is also the fault of the guitarists, some of whom only know the collegues Isaac Albeniz, Enrique Granados und Joaquin Rodrigo: "noioso", just boring.

The repertoire of the "archaic"-revered Andrés Segovia is - "with all repect" - not his field: Marchione is always searching for new pieces and creates programmes with well known and less well known music. This is also the case on wednesday at 20:30 in the "Kulturhaus Mitte, Rosenthaler Str. 51": Besides popular tunes from Dionisio Aguado und Agustin Barrios Mangoré, he plays études by his teacher Mario Gangi and the three-movement "Sonata" by Leo Brouwer.

(Ronald Schäfer, 16 December 1997)

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