Monday Notes

Fabrizio De André, Valzer per un amore – Valzer campestre

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Leggi in Italiano

[Monday Note No. 75] Valzer per un amore is a song by Fabrizio De André written on the Valzer campestre from the Suite Siciliana by Gino Marinuzzi, a Sicilian composer and conductor. The song was released as a single on the B-side of the more famous La canzone di Marinella and shows how interested De André was in popular music already early in his career.

Fabrizio De André often uses for his songs rhythms of folk origin that are rarely used in songwriting and pop music: tarantella, mazurka, march, or as in this case a waltz tempo. De André does not alter Marinuzzi’s beautiful theme in any way, he merely slows down the speed a little and writes a melancholic lyrics on the melody.

The subject of Valzer per un amore is regret. The text is addressed to a reticent lover and invites her not to refuse the love offered to her, because time passes and when she reaches old age she will certainly regret her refusal.

De André’s text composed to Marinuzzi’s notes is metrically perfect. The original melody is respected in every detail, yet Fabrizio De André’s lyrics are natural and flowing, as well as moving and intense.

Gino Marinuzzi’s composition is bipartite: in the first part (part A) the melody develops on a typical minor progression, common to many folk melodies.

Valzer per un amore / Valzer campestre (part one)

Valzer campestre, parte A
Valzer campestre, part A

The second part (part B) is instead more articulate and concludes with a Neapolitan cadence E♭ Dm A7 Dm (♭II I V7 I). Both in terms of waltz tempo and melodic and harmonic content, Marinuzzi’s piece is thus inspired by the folk tradition of southern Italy.

Valzer per un amore / Valzer campestre (part two)

Valzer campestre, parte B
Valzer campestre, part B

Aside from some autobiographical episodes that Fabrizio De André himself recounted regarding Marinuzzi’s Valzer campestre, what appealed to him and led him to make it his own song was perhaps the perfect balance between cultured and popular music. De André himself succeeded in combining these two elements in his music, writing as a great poet but speaking and being understood by everyone.

Until next Monday!

Gino Marinuzzi (wikipedia)

Download the score of Valzer per un amore

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