Castello di Potentino: Wine and Classical Music on the Amiata

In Italy, wine is deeply connected to history and culture. On the wild and magical slopes of the Monte Amiata in southern Tuscany, Vintners, Charlotte Horton and her brother, Alexander Greene, are highlighting the connection with a series of free, classical concerts.

The last will be this Sunday, August 23, featuring renown British pianist, Mark Springer, who composed and will present exquisite pieces inspired by Potentino and the Amiata.

Charlotte wrote about how Mark’s music expresses the terroir of Potentino in the way that her wine does:
Mark has captured the spirit of air, the magic of Potentino, distilling the essence of the castle and its magnificent natural backdrop into music. In this way, making music is like making wine. His music makes me think of our wine, our valley, this ancient place, all transformed into a series of evocative sounds: wine-like, liquid, airy, rocky, airy. The Potentino music underlines the importance of “Place” in the creative act.

The concert I attended featured a young Scottish quartet from Edinburgh, who were in residence at the Castle. Callum Armstrong (recorder, bagpipes and ancient Greek Aulos), Laura Sargent (cellist), Aaron McGregor (playing a replica of a Baroque era violin), and Gabi Maas (violin).

musicians

This talented group of young musicians highlighted the way that Baroque music borrowed from folk tunes, transforming those melodies into more sophisticated forms. The performance was in the Castle’s chapel that dates from the 1300s and has remarkable acoustics. It was an unusual treat to be a small audience and to have the sense of being “in” the music as opposed to simply listening to it.

Unfortunately my videos from the evening don’t do the quartet justice at all, but here is a short sample.

The most fascinating moment of the evening was when Callum Armstrong played a replica of the ancient Greek Aulos. The oldest example ever found dates back to 5,000 BC. By 700 BC, Aulos players were commonly depicted on Greek urns accompanying theater, athletic games, dance, etc. Musical scores written by the ancients have also been found. The piece that Callum played was an example of Dorian mood. (The Greeks had seven moods, not just major and minor as we have. They were: Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, and Lochrian.)

The concert was following by an outdoor feast in the Castle courtyard of spelt salad, sliced prosciutto, and fresh vegetables from the Castle’s organic gardens.

dinner

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Castello Potentino
Potentino Società Agricola SRL
Seggiano 58038 (GR) Italy
+39 0564 950014

On my Wine Database

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