Ever since the Occitan troubadours, that is, the songwriters of the 11th-13th centuries considered to be at the origins of Western poetry, the broadly "political" theme has flanked the amorous type, more widely in vogue. In popular tradition, the subversive force of the songs accompanied the entire European Risorgimento and became a precious form of awareness in the years of the First World War. Among the lesser-known Italian singer-songwriters who embodied this libertarian vein in the second half of the twentieth century, the figure of Antonio Virgilio Savona stands out: he was one of the members of the Quartetto Cetra, who composed, with Tata Giacobetti also from the Quartetto Cetra, the song Angela to raise awareness on the unjust detention of African-American activist Angela Davis. This is the first artistic protest from the Western world (the protests of John Lennon and Yōko Ono, the Rolling Stones and Jean-Paul Sartre followed Sa-vona’s). When, in 1971, the Quartetto Cetra presented Angela at the RAI program “Stasera sì”, the censors ordered Savona not to deal with political matters anymore, with the justification that it was “delicate things”. In response, Savona took the opportunity to compose the ironic song They are delicate things. This episode represents an admirable case study to reflect on the status of the song as an artistic tool that has been at the forefront of denouncing controversial aspects of society since its origins, in dialogue with – if not anticipating – many poetic paths character-izing, each time, forms of dissent and resistance.

«Sono cose delicate»: Antonio Virgilio Savona e Angela (Davies). Per una semantica del dissenso cantato

Benozzo F.;Lamberti E.
2022

Abstract

Ever since the Occitan troubadours, that is, the songwriters of the 11th-13th centuries considered to be at the origins of Western poetry, the broadly "political" theme has flanked the amorous type, more widely in vogue. In popular tradition, the subversive force of the songs accompanied the entire European Risorgimento and became a precious form of awareness in the years of the First World War. Among the lesser-known Italian singer-songwriters who embodied this libertarian vein in the second half of the twentieth century, the figure of Antonio Virgilio Savona stands out: he was one of the members of the Quartetto Cetra, who composed, with Tata Giacobetti also from the Quartetto Cetra, the song Angela to raise awareness on the unjust detention of African-American activist Angela Davis. This is the first artistic protest from the Western world (the protests of John Lennon and Yōko Ono, the Rolling Stones and Jean-Paul Sartre followed Sa-vona’s). When, in 1971, the Quartetto Cetra presented Angela at the RAI program “Stasera sì”, the censors ordered Savona not to deal with political matters anymore, with the justification that it was “delicate things”. In response, Savona took the opportunity to compose the ironic song They are delicate things. This episode represents an admirable case study to reflect on the status of the song as an artistic tool that has been at the forefront of denouncing controversial aspects of society since its origins, in dialogue with – if not anticipating – many poetic paths character-izing, each time, forms of dissent and resistance.
Benozzo, F., Lamberti, E.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/906008
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