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Nicoletta's Giuffredi with clarinet and piano harmony

The crowning of this edition of the International Clarinet Festival in Kosovo was entrusted to the Italian clarinetist, Corrado Giuffredi, a virtuoso known globally for his extraordinary talent and commitment to the clarinet. Giuffredi's journey through the world of classical music is nothing less than an extraordinary itinerary.

But for the Kosovar audience, his performance, which was marked by a rare combination of technical brilliance and a subtle understanding of music, was joined by Federico Nicoletta, an Italian pianist passionately devoted to chamber music.

The evening started with a concert fantasy with Verdi's "Rigoletto", by Luigi Bassi, which was presented as a dynamism that allowed Giuffredi's clarinet and Nicoletta's piano to present different ornaments and sound variations. Then it was the turn for the second act with another fantasy, but this time with Puccini's "Tosca" by Michele Mangani, which was both a premiere and a tribute in honor of the 100th anniversary of the death of the composer Giacomo Puccini.

A break of a few minutes came as an intermezzo to herald the second part of the concert, for which works of the 20th century were reserved. Francis Poulenc's "Sonata for Clarinet and Piano" began as a composition of chamber music that gave color to the darkness that was prevailed in the Atelier of the Palace of Youth and Sports in Pristina.

"Rhapsody in Blue" by George Gershwin was the signal that the concert was coming to an end, but not an end anyway. Through this work, Giuffredi and Nicoletta transported the audience present for a few minutes to the New York of the 20s, with an embrace of classical, jazz and blues. The work emerges as a neatly orchestrated cacophony with the brilliance of Gershwin, who manages to combine genres with ease while creating a sophisticated musical landscape.

The artist himself was very pleased with the warm welcome he received in Kosovo and singled out the enthusiasm of the Prishtina public.

"It was a wonderful experience, it's my first time in Kosovo. I really enjoyed the people, the clarinet students and their enthusiasm, and that means a lot to me because the purpose of an artist is to bring people together through music."

For this evening's repertoire, he himself had taken care to bring something more special to the public of Kosovo.

"This repertoire we played tonight is my favourite, because I'm Italian, so I usually start the concert with the fantastic opera "Rigoletto" by Verdi. This night was also special because we premiered "Tosca" by Michele Mangani, because this year is the 100th anniversary of Puccini's death. While in the second part I treat the clarinet in the style of the last century, then I like all the music written for the clarinet, which the audience likes as well, and therefore last night was spectacular".

Even for Federico Nicoletta, as Giuffredi's accompanist on the piano, Pristina was warm from the beginning, and so was the hall where he played.

"It was fantastic and in fact the hall with these lights that go with the last part we played 'Rhapsody in blue'. We were also excited to play 'Tosca' by Michele Mangani for the first time, it's always a mystery to introduce a new piece because you don't know if the audience will like it or not, but I think they did, I hope!” .

Meanwhile, Malbora Krajku, from the International Clarinet Festival in Kosovo, expressed her satisfaction with this fourth edition, as well as with the fact that this evening the composition of the public exceeded the borders of Kosovo.

"Today is the closing night of the fourth edition of the "International Kosova Clarinet Fest", we managed to make a fantastic duo concert by the well-known clarinetist Corrado Giuffredi, accompanied on the piano by Federico Nicoletta. Giuffredi comes to Kosovo for the first time to perform and was welcomed by the audience, in which we also had guests from Albania, North Macedonia and Slovenia, who came just to hear Giuffredi. The special feature of this evening, among others, was playing a work for the first time in his career, which he chose to play in Kosovo".

Giuffredi and Nicoletta's performance together with the carefully chosen repertoire were well liked by the audience enough to force the performers to return to the stage three times in a row to applause and standing ovations.