Sunset with Shelley and Respighi

This Saturday at 5 pm there’s a lyrical moment at Bagni di Lucca Villa’s new bookshop and gallery, Shelley House.

Painting, poetry and music will mingle together in an evocative way. Michelangelo Cupisti’s art works return to Bagni di Lucca, and the English poet Francis Pettitt and actress Rebecca Palagi will read a little-known poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley called “The Sunset”.

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(PB Shelley 1792-1822)

‘The Sunset’ is a gothicky love story dating exactly two hundred years ago. Francis will read it in the original language and Rebecca will recite it in Italian (a translation from the beginning of the last century).

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(Luca PB Guidi and Rebecca Palagi who run the Shelley House bookshop)

After the reading we will listen to “The Sunset ” very beautifully set to music by Respighi for mezzo-soprano and string quartet (although other arrangements also exist) and first performed in 1918. Incidentally, it is not generally known that Respighi, famous for his ‘musical postcards’ of Rome’s fountains, pines and festivals also set three Shelley poems. (The other two are ‘The sensitive plant’ and ‘Arethusa’).

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(Ottorino Respighi 1879-1936)

It’s also interesting to note that Shelley wrote some of his poems to have them specifically set to music e.g. ‘With a guitar to Jane.’

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Do drop in if you’re around. It’s going to be a short but very attractive event.

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