“Pills” destined for the airwaves: Proesies by Sardelli, Filidei and Crousaud

Keywords: Poesia in musica (poetry set to music), Proesie, Francesco Filidei, Federico Maria Sardelli, Jeanne Crousaus


The essay focuses on a cycle of very short pieces (one to two minutes) by Francesco Filidei for soprano solo on texts from Federico Maria Sardelli’s collection Proesie. During the lockdown, the composer created one musical Proesia per day; the singer Jeanne Crousaud performed them on video, taking care of a particular staging for each one, and posted them on Facebook. Through Sardelli’s ironic, surreal and often irreverent lyrics, Filidei intended to express through music the (emotionally varia- ble) psychological impact of quarantine. Starting by highlighting some of the salient features of the composer’s musical writing - the sophisticated formal construction of these (only apparently disengaged) pieces, in which moment after moment the slight alterations of pitches and rhythmic values take on a gestural value - the essay will dwell on the particular qualities of the staging, curated by Crousaud in agreement with Filidei. Each video, in fact, involves an appropriate realisation, connected to the meaning of the literary text and the gestural implications of the music. Finally, it will be highlighted how the characteristics of extreme brevity and the playful-ironic aspects of these performances are particularly suited to the audiovisual medium of the social network.


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Author Biography

Anna Scalfaro, Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna

As associate professor at the University of Bologna’s Department of the Arts (DAMS), Anna Scalfaro teaches Philosophy and Musical Aesthetics in the DAMS degree program. Her main research interests include the history of contemporary music, pedagogy and music popularization and she has published a number of essays and articles on these topics as well as her two latest monographs: Storia dell’educazione musicale nella scuola italiana. Dall’Unità ai giorni nostri (Milan, 2014), and Musica in programma. Quarant’anni di divulgazione musicale in Rai-tv (1954-94) (Udine, 2020).

How to Cite
Scalfaro, A. (2023). “Pills” destined for the airwaves: Proesies by Sardelli, Filidei and Crousaud. Mimesis Journal, 12(1), 91-124. https://doi.org/10.4000/mimesis.2671