Colloqui con Rafail Dvoinikov
(Rhapsody on a unique theme.
Conversations with Rafail Dvoinikov)
Manni, collection Pretesti,  2010
ISBN 978-88-6266-242-0
272 pp., euro 18


In 1996, Ethan Prescott, a young composer from Philadelphia, travelled several times to Russia to meet an old fellow musician, Rafail Dvoinikov, for a long interview that is also the homage of a disciple to an almost forgotten master. The name of the project, Rapsodia su un solo tema (Rhapsody on a unique theme), evokes one of the most emblematic partitions of Dvoinikov.
The old musician recounts his childhood and his youth, his encounters, loves and humiliations with the freedom and disenchantment of a man who does not have to answer to anyone anymore. His music and his words prove that, as an artist and as a man, it is possible to retain one’s freedom, even under the rule of an oppressive power.
Unlocking itself like a Russian doll, the novel combines the traits of an essay, pages of interviews and diaries, interrogation reports and transcripts of a 17th century pamphlet to tell the stories of musicians who speak about other musicians who talk of other musicians who imagine the lives of yet other musicians.
With, as background, the often painful and enigmatic history of the 19th century.

“The most remarkable characteristic of this novel is its realism. The efficient but discreet writing (exactly like true refinement, that is only true if its presence goes unnoticed) is like clean glass, the transparency of which makes you believe there are no barriers between the spectator and the scene ” writes Giovanna Repetto in the literary magazine Il Paradiso degli Orchi. In the Giornale di Brescia, Claudio Baroni also talks about the novel: “The refined architecture and the depth of the reflexion contribute to making the reading even more enjoyable. The limpidity of the story is enhanced by the musical culture of the author”. In Pulp, Umberto Rossi concludes: “a novel that craftily builds tensions, curiosity and a sense of well-kept secrets”.

Read the first pages of the novel here:

The booktrailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7FsTma1ug4

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