Il cantico delle Creature (The Canticle of the Creatures) is a suspended bridge between a Middle Ages in which nature embodied, according to Saint Francis, the transparency of the celestial, and a modernity torn by meaninglessness and deep divisions. The work starts with a focus on planet earth to then digress into the mystery, through the contemplation of nature in its tangible power. The human kind is deprived of any supremacy and reconnected with all the elements, a sea change in the middle class values of the time. This was Francis of Assisi’s revolution; this was the poetic essence of his canticle, whose themes recur in the latest record by Vinicio Capossela, Ballata per uomini e bestie (Ballad for men and beasts). A work of great expressive power, which looks, not without irony, at the plagues of the present day, overwhelmed by the corruption of language, by violence and by the pillage of nature, ruthlessly sacrificed on the altar of production.
In this new Middle Ages, Capossela seeks in the tale and in the canto a possibility to recompose the harmony and a novel relationship with things; with the sacred and with the beasts, which, as the Saint of Assisi believed, offer an insight into the mystery of nature, human nature included. As a corollary of this journey, La perfetta Letizia by Francis reverberates in the plain yet expressive Italian language of the XIV century.
The form elected by Capossela for this new work is the ballad, as an opportunity for metric practice and for an abstraction from the synthesis. The ballad holds the chaos of words in freedom, the liquid experience of becoming, turns it into a tale and composes it in flowing stanzas. From the ballad to the cantata it’s a short way to go.
La cantata per le creature (The cantata for the creatures), in the land of the Saint who was able to break the boundaries of language between living creatures, aims to be a canto that mends the wounds of separation, in the intimate awareness that we are all brothers, as we are all poor Christs. All of us, men and beasts included.