A new hymn will be played in stadiums before all matches of the “Serie A” football league: “O Generosa!” a piece written by Maestro Giovanni Allevi to celebrate the finest sporting and human qualities.
It is a polyphonic piece for four voices and orchestra, singing in Latin and in English, in which Allevi, true to his style, combines tradition and innovation. “O Generosa!” is an original and contemporary composition, yet it contains constant references to Ancient Music, and especially to the polyphony of Monteverdi, while including more modern “progressive” rhythms; four hundred years of history condensed into three minutes!
“The text of ‘O Generosa!’ is based on the invocation of the noble and pure strength that sporting champions must possess. The nobility of the soul can transcend the competitive field and refer to all aspects of human behaviour, acquiring a universal value. – Giovanni Allevi explains – Today more than ever, every layer of society and of our being is imbued with uncertainty; but we must not give up striving for an ideal of interior purity and honesty, like Kant’s regulative principle of maximum self-realisation. So winners are not only the product of a sporting competition but are also winners in life, and above all in their hearts!”
“The idea of composing a hymn for our matches arose from the desire to combine two pillars of Italian culture which we are famous for all over the world: our love for football, and our superb musical tradition – the President of the ‘Serie A’ football league, Maurizio Beretta, explains -. We are honoured that an artist such as Giovanni Allevi, a composer, pianist and conductor of international fame, should have embraced our project of creating a new hymn for the championship with such enthusiasm. O Generosa! embodies the many values – loyalty, fair play and sportsmanship – which have always been at the base of our sport, and it will become the tune that accompanies all our official matches.”
Technically, “O Generosa!” is a polyphonic composition for four voices and orchestra, formally close to the XVIth century Italian madrigal. Its majestic tone, at times declaimed, at times contrapuntal, was written to support the text celebrating noble sporting and human virtues, to be “champions of life and above all of the heart”, as Allevi explains. The universal values it describes are expressed in two archetypally international languages of the past and of present times: Latin, the parent of Italian, and English.
The text “O Generosa!” was written entirely by Giovanni Allevi himself, with the invaluable help Latin expert Dr. Franco Sanna, a member of Sodalitas Latina Mediolanensis, and a teacher at the Laboratorio di Multimedialità e Studi Letterari of the l’Università degli Studi di Milano.
“Latin, the parent language of Italian, for so many centuries the universal language of Europe, is still vibrant and the perfect choice to express the aspiration to elevated, noble and shared ideals. – says Franco Sanna – The linguistic register of the text is deliberately far from an imitation of the classics, and is closer to our modern tastes. The word Magnitudo immediately makes people think of a new cardinal virtue, the Magnitudo animi, which is perfectly suited to our times: we need broad fields of vision, generosity, and high goals to aim for, elevating us above the repetitive misery recounted in the daily news. Only honesty will lead the winner to unimaginable joy”.
After having been commissioned directly to Maestro Giovanni Allevi by the “Serie A” league, “O Generosa!” was recorded conducted by the composer himself in the famous Officine Meccaniche di Milano studios, with the Coro dell’Opera di Parma, renowned for its Verdian power and expressiveness, and the Orchestra Sinfonica Italiana which gathers artists from the most prestigious and historic national orchestras such as the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Orchestra del Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova, the Orchestra del Teatro dell’Opera di Roma.
The chorus master of the Coro dell’Opera di Parma was Maestro Emiliano Esposito. The Baroque sound of the “Piccolo Trumpet in A” plays a fundamental part in the orchestration; the occasion saw the exceptional participation of Maestro Stefano Benedetti, first Trumpetist of the Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano.
O generosa Magnitudo!
O generosa veni ad nos!
cum honestate semper movetur cor eius. (2 v)
Custodi animum tuum
ut a corruptione abstineat necopinatum gaudium accipies O generosa!
Gloria, I say to you, Hallelujah! Winner you will be in your heart Gloria, I say to you Hallelujah! Winner you’ll be in your heart always you’ll be.
Oh noble strength!
Oh noble one, come to us!
Glory to the winner, his heart is always honest. (x2)
Glory to the winner
Glory to the winner
Glory to the winner
Take care of your soul,
protect it from corruption,
you will experience unexpected joy, Oh noble one!