Locked-down La Scala plays Italy’s liberation hymn

Yesterday was the date Italy celebrates as the end of Fascism. The 75th anniversary could not be celebrated in the streets.

But isolated musicians of shutdown La Scala found a way.


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  • Fascism was not a great thing, but became worse when Mussolini collaborated with Nazis. Otherwise it would not have been a major issue today, the communists were just as bad.

    • Insanity! The evils of extremism are not mitigated by the existence of different extremists. Running the trains on time or creating employment are never “ends justify the means” for totalitarianism of any political bent. As the oft quoted Churchill quote goes “Democracy’s are the worst form of government except for all others”.

    • Mussolini was the first to use gas against civilians, when he invaded Ethiopia. Fascism meant that dissidents were sent on exile (like Carlo Levi) or thrown into prison and left to die there (like Gramsci) or killed (like Matteotti). Jews were persecuted in fascist Italy, as were homosexuals, or simply those who did not agree with fascism. If that is “not a major issue”, I do not know what is. And saying “communists were just as bad”, whether it’s true or not, does NOT make fascism “good”, or even “bearable”.

  • Speaking of liberation hymns, a clip at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhlHrIIOEKA, shows Pietro Mascagni conducting a huge outdoor crowd in a performance of ‘Va, pensiero’ (the chorus of the Hebrew Slaves) from Nabucco in honour of Mussolini who was present on the occasion. Clearly Fascism was seen as an aspiration to be equated with the hopes of the Hebrews in ancient Babylon. Which just goes to show that any work of art, however noble, may be perverted to legitimise political ambitions. Mussolini was a passionate admirer of Verdi having delivered a eulogy at the time of the composer’s death in 1901.

  • Not that I disagreed, but when I lived in Italy I was always amused by the fact that — to the best of my knowledge — the Italians were the only people who annually celebrated having lost a war!

    • Actually, the Italian partisans had a large role in aiding the allies fight their way up Italy. They had a surprisingly active resistance movement.

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