De Bello Celtico – Battaglie in Musica


Concert Piece.

Composer: Picarband.


An editorial proposal to promote “making music together”, bringing together more bands in concert. A way to highlight the original band repertoire, creating a musical event of historical interest aimed at listeners, to live and relive our most remote origins. Such musical projects become interesting and widen the range of performance opportunities, creating interest from a social, artistic and cultural point of view.
It is an invitation to believe in these initiatives of musical aggregation, you need to have the courage, as well as the pleasure, to face and study new repertoires, in new forms and instrumentally suitable for any band. Fostering this ensemble music more stimulates participation and therefore the use of positive synergies combined with the executive and organizational skills that are always present in every musical association.
For this reason the piece DE BELLO CELTICO is addressed and dedicated to the three bands that carry out their commendable educational and cultural activity in the city of Lissone. They are:
The Parish Band of S. Cecilia, the S. Cecilia di Bareggia Musical Corps and the group of Musical Consonance.

Short historical presentation
Celtic inscriptions are numerous in BRIGANTIA (from BRIG-altura, ancient denomination of BRIANZA) but they have a fragmentary character and almost never form complete sentences, only medieval literature has transmitted elements of Celtic mythology. This people had settled since 500 BC. until the arrival of Caesar in Gaul. The conflict between the Celts and the Romans in the Po Valley is recounted by Cesare in his De Bello Gallico.
The Celtic organization has always remained in the tribal state, as a fundamental cell it could count at most a few thousand people. The Celtic settlement generally consisted of a village protected by a wooden palisade, where both the priestly class of druids, warriors and artisans lived there.
Kings were generally elected, their intentions were to expand borders, accumulate wealth, subdue other populations and then issued continuous orders to attack neighboring tribes. The Celts were in constant struggle to acquire new settlements along the LAM-SBER river (LAM-swamp, is the probable etymology of the Lambro river). The Roman invasion of Gaul actually marks the end of Celtic autonomy: the Celtic tribes, fragmented and incapable of unitary organization, were inadequate to face a situation of total war like the one the Romans were leading.
With the advent of the emperor Octavian Augustus, the first Roman settlement of the Lixiones (the water carriers of the Roman army) was made, which after the conquests had the leave and the assignment of fertile lands along the Lambro, with the consequent construction of the “vicus lixiones” then grouped in villages called Lixonum and finally Lissonum.
MEDHELAN – The name of MILAN dates back to the primordial Celtic name of MID-LAND. According to modern historians it was founded around 590 BC. near a sanctuary (near Piazza della Scala) from a Celtic tribe of the Insubri group. The ancient town was later called MEDIOLANUM by the ancient Romans who, thanks to their military efficiency, conquered it after bloody battles against the Celts, the latter integrated with the Roman population of that time.
The Roman city was then in turn gradually superimposed and replaced by the medieval one until reaching the urban center of today, where the central circular part dating back to the first Celtic nucleus can still be seen.

Musical presentation of the piece “DE BELLO CELTICO” by Picarband

1 – BRIGANTIA – (the land of Brianza)
The original theme in 6/8 refers to the style of Celtic music, it is in the form of a dance with a dedication to Mother Earth, a divinity present in the cult of the first Celtic tribes that arrived in Northern Italy.
The theme of the cult presents itself with a calm melody of joint movement that alternates with dance. Later the dance gradually takes on a warlike trend in describing the first occupations of the territory. In counterpoint, secondary thematic elements appear, they are short repetitive and rhythmic fragments, subjected to variations, a sort of instrumental invasion to represent the relentless action of Celtic conquest and the affirmation of their traditions.

2 – LAMSBER – (the Lambro river)
From a situation of apparent calm, a new thematic motif leads to a naturalistic setting. Celtic activity spreads in the villages distributed along the river. The instrumentation distributes the main themes in the various instrumental sections, with both relaxed and enthralling characters, always well supported by the rhythm of the percussion.
The development is presented with different paces, in a sort of progression to signify a continuous movement of clashes and rivalries. Eventually we arrive at the affirmation of Celtic civilization, with the dynamic and agogic indications of: “con più vivacità” and “con esultanza”. A final suspended agreement and an abrupt break-up portend the subsequent clash with the Roman legions for the definitive conquest of the territory.

3 – MEDHELAN – (Milan)
The initial theme in 3/4 is “majestic and solemn” and announces the arrival of the Romans.
In the rhythmic and melodic part it derives from the initial Celtic motif of the piece. The clashes between the two contending parties alternate: the musical motifs of the Celtic domination are developed in the usual compound tempos, in an imitative form the incessant blasts of the Roman legions are inserted. The motif of Celtic dance is shattering during the various phases of the battle for the conquest of Milan, the latter being musically represented by the repetition of a thematic fragment.
The sequel is a succession of rhythmic proposals and thematic alternations that are enthralling and violent, a musical fight that leads to a modulation and a final cadence. It is the definitive victory by the Romans and the consequent dispersion of the Celts.

Composer: Picarband.

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