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Italian Music


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cjvinthechair
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« Reply #30 on: January 28, 2014, 09:47:17 am »

A magnificent array of works, Mr. Jowcol. Thank you so much !
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« Reply #31 on: January 29, 2014, 03:31:55 am »

Music of Franco Alfano


From the collection of Karl Miller

See the downloads section for the link.

Intro
Divertimento for Small Orchestra and Piano Obligato

Naples RAI Orch/O. Zilno

Romantic Suite (Natale Campano Only)
Rome RAI Orch/Massimo Pradella

Symphony #2
Milan RAI Orch/Fulvio Vernizzi




Wikipedia Bio:

Franco Alfano (8 March 1875 – 27 October 1954) was an Italian composer and pianist. Best known today for his opera Risurrezione (1904) and above all for having completed Puccini's opera Turandot in 1926. He had considerable success with several of his own works during his lifetime.


Career

Alfano was born in Posillipo, Naples. He attended piano lessons given privately by Alessandro Longo, and harmony and composition respectively under Camillo de Nardis (1857–1951) and Paolo Serrao at the conservatory San Pietro a Majella in Naples. Later, after graduating, he pursued further composition studies with Hans Sitt and Salomon Jadassohn in Leipzig. While working there he met his idol, Edvard Grieg, and wrote numerous piano and orchestral pieces.

From 1918 he was Director of the Conservatory of Bologna, from 1923 Director of the Turin Conservatory, and from 1947 to 1950 Director of the Rossini Conservatory in Pesaro. Alfano died in San Remo.[1]

Operas

He completed his first opera, Miranda, still unpublished, for which he also wrote the libretto based on a novel by Antonio Fogazzaro in 1896. His work La Fonte Di Enschir (libretto by Luigi Illica) was refused by Ricordi but was presented in Wrocław (then Breslau) as Die Quelle von Enschir on 8 November 1898. It enjoyed some success.

His three most important operas begin with Risurrezione in 1904. It was based on Tolstoy, and was later sung by Magda Olivero.

Cyrano de Bergerac followed. This based on the famous play by Edmond Rostand and composed to the French libretto by Henri Cain. It had its Italian version premiere in Rome in January 1936, and its French version premiere in Paris four months later. It was recently revived by the Kiel Opera (Germany), the Montpellier Radio Festival (France) and the Metropolitan Opera, New York, starring Plácido Domingo in the title role.

In 1921, La Leggenda di Sakùntala appeared, and while it was successful enough to have Arturo Toscanini recommend Alfano to complete Puccini's posthumous Turandot, the performance materials were thought destroyed in an air raid during the Second World War. Alfano reconstructed it in 1952 as Sakùntala, after Abhijñānaśākuntalam (The Recognition of Sakuntala), the Sanskrit play by Kalidasa. Subsequently, the original version was recovered in 2005, with the two versions available for performance today. The second version of Sakùntala will be performed in New York City by Teatro Grattacielo in the fall of 2013.

Historical perspectives

In Fanfare 's issue of September/October 1998-99, it was asserted that Alfano's reputation suffers because of several things. Firstly, that he should not be judged as a composer on the basis of the task he was given in completing Turandot (La Scala, 25 April 1926). Secondly, that we almost never hear everything he wrote for Turandot since the standard ending heavily edits Alfano's work.[2] Thirdly, [...]it is not his conclusion that is performed in productions of Turandot but only what the premiere conductor Arturo Toscanini included from it... Puccini had worked for nine months on the following concluding duet and at his death had left behind a whole ream of sketches... Alfano had to reconstruct...according to his best assessment...and with his imagination and magnifying glass" since Puccini's material "had not really been legible."[3][clarification needed]

"Alfano's reputation has also suffered [IC:along with Mascagni], understandably, because of his willingness to associate himself closely with Mussolini's Fascist government."[citation needed]

Alex Ross, in The New Yorker,[4] notes that a new ending of Turandot composed by Luciano Berio premiered in 2002[5] is preferred by some critics for making a more satisfactory resolution of Turandot's change of heart, and of being more in keeping with Puccini's evolving technique.

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« Reply #32 on: January 29, 2014, 04:40:39 pm »

Theme and Variations by Mario Bossi


From the collection of Karl Miller


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Milan RAI Orchestra/Claudio Abbado

Radio broadcast

 Italian organist and composer Mario Enrico Bossi (1861-1925) was considered one of the finest organists of his day and gave organ recitals throughout Europe and in the U.S., including an appearance at the Grand Court Organ during a Wanamaker Musicians' Assembly at John Wanamaker & Co. in Philadelphia. Also a composer known for his dramatic flair, Bossi wrote works for the organ as well as operas and oratorios. His son, Renzo Bossi (1883-1965), was a gifted composer and teacher of composition.



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« Reply #33 on: January 29, 2014, 04:43:29 pm »

Marco Enrico Bossi, surely?
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« Reply #34 on: January 29, 2014, 04:51:54 pm »

Adelchi, an Overture by Nestore Gaggiano


From the collection of Karl Miller


Adlechi, Overture
Rome RAI Orchestra/Massimo Pradella

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Machine Translation:

Until the late 80 ' the name of Nestor Caggiano was known to scholars of the twentieth century Italian instrumental and almost unknown to the large public. A albeit wispy memory of his legacy was preserved, though undoubtedly in 1969 the Commission for symphonic music, Opera and chamber music of RAI had recommended broadcasting L'Ouverture "Adelchi" of n. Caggiano.

The same year the Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma della RAI conducted for recordings by master Francesco Molinari-Pradelli, transmitted by radio.

The real discovery of this author was credited with Carlo Vitali with the book "a promise forgotten symphonic Italian: Nestor Caggiano and editor Bongiovanni, who published a cd containing" Alla città di Ferrara "," the tomb of the Busento, Adelchi ", directed by Silvano Frontalini podium Master of Polish orchestras willing.

The work of musicologists would be infinitely more arduous, and the perpetrators almost impossible "without the valuable work of Census and review done by Adam Cardenas, doc, Thomas DiNapoli on Nestor's handwritten Caggiano, kept with loving care by the heirs of the master.

Cardoso, along with John Chan, has produced an impressive catalog that includes 75 opera numbers, as well as a great and touching epistolary material of the ill-fated and short-lived Master Caggiano.

In the Biblioteca comunale di Caggiano has formed a complete archive of the "corpus" symphonic and chamber music musician, with the letters and documents that are left to the family, as well as numerous recorded performances of music by Nestor. The Gandhi and Vizioli ne performed almost all the Repertoire, even in manifestations of mid-1990s Thomas DiNapoli.

Nestor Caggiano was born in Caggiano on November 18, 1888. His mother, Anna Luisi, was a homemaker, his father Giuseppe was a craftsman owner of numerous olive groves in the estates of Caggiano and Pertosa. In his workshop had constituted a kind Joseph of cultural coterie which performed musical works.

Cultural spirit is breathed in casa Caggiano is somehow testified by Nestor's brothers names: Vittorugo, Armida, Riccardo (clear tribute to Wagner).

This environment had a lasting influence on the formation of the composer, whose intellectual horizon will remain, variously interwoven, national pride, curiosity about French culture, especially Germanic, and some individualistic streak-anarcoide.

Caggiano carried out most likely from an early study of the oboe, surely encouraged by listening to the bands accompanying processions to numerous festivities that lined the country life, and somehow broke the monotony of an obvious cultural isolation.

This influence would be resurfaced in its most significant scores, in which the orchestral colour is mainly of a perfect knowledge of band instrumentation, rara frequentation discipline and stylistic rendering uncertain, who never learned not Caggiano form, absolutely self-taught official.

In 1904 the sixteen year old adolescent passions embellished with a healthy pragmatism: oboe student in the class of De Rosa at the Conservatory of San Pietro a Majella, along with complementary harmony in that of Daniel Napoletano, showed an early talent for composition, and his piece for violin and piano, poems, Reminiscences escaped with Giuseppe Martucci, at that time Director of the Conservatory.

Martucci, Paladin of instrumental music and great popularizer in the peninsula Symphony production of Germanic area and Wagnerian dramas, had decisive influence in the formation of Caggiano, who was positively stimulating interest in the instrumental repertoire Central.

Encouraging your promising student to write again, and especially the incited to commence regular studies.

Eventually the younger became one of his favorite disciples.

In 1906 he graduated in oboe Caggiano, and is reported as the first part in civic Concert in Rome and later in the orchestra of the Teatro Quirino. As oboist also participated in a tour of Egypt, however it was in free composition that came the first rewards.

         
Among the most significant compositions of his early lyrical Duet account for soprano and tenor, completed October 23, 1907, on verses by Vittorugo Caggiano. Very carnal composition, even if strongly moulded on the rhythms of the poem. The following year he was admitted to the composition. Zampillava, unstoppable, the creative flow: go back to those years cited biblical poem for voices and orchestra entitled "Perimus", an eighteenth-century suite in four movements, the "Adagio religioso", but especially the "heroic Procession" and "symphonic Prelude". This decade was to "work day and night; It is one thing to crazy! ... I'm so glad though, although exact a ghastly toil ... they're dazed for the great job "he wrote to his family. In his works and in his letters captures the great effort of the cultural momentum of the era and the emerging, unfortunately, the humanity of the unfortunate sore.

The March 3, 1918 died in Caggiano, he took refuge in the arms of the homeland and of dear family.

Text taken from the book published by the city of the Sun, "Nestor Caggiano and his time" by Maurizio Giani and suggested by Adam Cardenas. Naples, 2002.


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« Reply #35 on: January 29, 2014, 07:46:14 pm »

Lorenzo Perosi: Tema Variato


From the collection of Karl Miller.


Tema Variato
Milan RAI Orchestra/Otmar Nussio

Find the link in the downloads section!

Wikipedia Bio:
Monsignor Lorenzo Perosi (21 December 1872 – 12 October 1956) was an Italian composer of sacred music and the only member of the Giovane Scuola who did not write opera. In the late 1890s, while he was still only in his 20s, Perosi was an internationally celebrated composer of sacred music, especially large-scale oratorios. Nobel Prize winner Romain Rolland wrote: "It's not easy to give you an exact idea of how popular Lorenzo Perosi is in his native country." [1] Perosi's fame was not restricted to Europe. A 19 March 1899 New York Times article entitled "The Genius of Don Perosi" began: "The great and ever-increasing success which has greeted the four new oratorios of Don Lorenzo Perosi has placed this young priest-composer on a pedestal of fame which can only be compared with that which has been accorded of late years to the idolized Pietro Mascagni by his fellow-countrymen." Gianandrea Gavazzeni made the same comparison: "The sudden clamors of applause, at the end of the [19th] century, were just like those a decade earlier for Mascagni."[2] Perosi worked for five Popes, including Pope St. Pius X who greatly fostered his rise.

Early years and education
Lorenzo Perosi was born at Tortona, Piedmont, in Italy. Many sources[3] give December 20 as Perosi's birthdate but recent scholarship suggests December 21 to be correct.[4] Perosi was one of twelve[5] children, one of six to survive infancy. Perosi hailed from an extremely musical and religious family. For nearly 200 years before him, all of Lorenzo's ancestors were church musicians. His father was Giuseppe Perosi (1849–1908), Maestro di Cappella (Choir Director) of Tortona Cathedral and one of Italy's most prominent church musicians. Giuseppe was the first teacher of Lorenzo as well as his other two sons, Carlo (who became a priest and then a cardinal) and Marziano (who was Maestro di Cappella at the Duomo of Milan from 1930 to 1949). In Milan Lorenzo studied with respected professor Michele Saladino of the Milan Conservatory. Even when he was not enrolled at the Conservatory, Perosi kept up a correspondence course with Saladino.

In 1890, 18 years old and still a student, Perosi obtained his first professional post: organist and "teacher of the piano novices" at the Abbey of Montecassino. He received his diploma from the Milan Conservatory in 1892, following which he spent an influential year of study with Franz Xaver Haberl in Regensburg, at the Kirchenmusikschule that Haberl had founded in 1874. A noted musician and musicologist, Haberl was the pioneering editor of the complete works of Palestrina and Lassus. Perosi's development was such that Haberl offered him a cattedra ("chair," or permanent teaching position) in the Kirchenmusikschule. The homesick Perosi politely declined, in favour of a post as teacher and director of sacred music at Imola. As Perosi himself explained, he "desired and prayed at length to the Lord to be able to do something for the music of God in Italy."[6] Perosi served in Imola from November 1892, to August 1894.

In 1894 Perosi went to Solesmes Abbey to study with the Gregorianists Dom André Mocquereau and Dom Joseph Pothier. The Renaissance polyphony he learned from Haberl, and the Gregorian chant he studied in Solesmes were the two pillars upon which the entire oeuvre of Perosi rested.

Years in Venice
From Imola, Perosi obtained a more important post, that of Maestro of the Cappella Marciana at San Marco's Basilica in Venice. This Venetian appointment resulted from the deep friendship between Perosi and Cardinal Giuseppe Sarto, then Patriarca di Venezia (Patriarch of Venice) but soon to be Pope Pius X (and still later Pope Saint Pius X). Sarto was a profound music-lover who was disturbed by the roughly hundred years (c.1800-1900) that Gregorian Chant was absent from the Church. A more operatic, entertaining style of music prevailed. Thus, Perosi found in Sarto not only a friend and kindred spirit, but also a staunch sponsor.

Perosi's Venetian appointment (1894) unleashed a torrent of music that lasted at least until 1907. He continued to compose prolifically until his death, but this 13-year period produced some of his most substantial work.

In 1895, Perosi became a priest, having been ordained by his good friend Cardinal Patriarch Sarto (the later Saint Pius X) himself. It should also be mentioned that St. Luigi Orione was, like Perosi, born in Tortona in 1872. The three men — Orione, Perosi, and Sarto — were all dear friends and mutual inspirers.

Don Perosi was inspired by the later Pope Pius X also to infuse priestly sanctity into the music, and Perosi daily offered Mass and spent many hours in prayer.

Vatican appointment
In 1898, Cardinal Sarto used his influence with Pope Leo XIII to get Perosi the post of Maestro Perpetuo della Cappella Sistina, or Perpetual Director of the Sistine Choir, in Rome. Five years later, Sarto was elected Pope Pius X. Just months after his coronation, he released a Motu Proprio "Tra le sollecitudini" on sacred music (of which Perosi was a co-writer). The 1903 Motu Proprio was a papal declaration that Gregorian Chant must be immediately reinstated in all Catholic churches around the world.
Don Perosi with his scuola di canto (singschool, c. 1905).

Perosi remained Maestro Perpetuo until his death over 50 years later, in spite of interruptions in his directorship. After 1907, Perosi began to suffer more intensely from psychological and neurological problems, caused by his problematic (probably breach) birth.[7] These afflictions reached their apex in 1922; many declared him "incurable." The composer did spend many months in comparative seclusion; some sources suggest he was briefly institutionalized,[3] although recent scholarship suggests that this was not the case, and that he did not change residence in 1922.[8] In fact, the very next year, 1923, Perosi had fully resumed his administrative and compositional activity; in the last decade of his life, he also maintained a busy conducting schedule.[9]
Compositions

According to biographer Graziella Merlatti, Perosi was the most prolific composer of sacred music of the 20th century.[10] According to musicologist Arturo Sacchetti's estimate, Perosi composed 3,000-4,000 works.[11] A great many still await publication; some have not yet been located. All of the sources mentioned in the bibliography agree that Perosi was the most influential composer of the Cecilian Movement.

Despite the relative obscurity of his name today, Perosi was a prominent member of the Giovane Scuola, of which the most important Verismo composers or Veristi (Puccini, Mascagni, Leoncavallo, Giordano, and Cilea) were all considered members. An entire chapter is dedicated to Perosi in Romain Rolland's Musiciens d’Aujourd’hui (1899). Perosi was deeply admired not only by Rolland and by the above-named Veristi, but also by Boito, Toscanini, and many others. Caruso sang his music, as did Sammarco, Tagliabue, Gigli, and other great singers from that era, and also quite a few in modern times, such as Fiorenza Cossotto, Mirella Freni, Renato Capecchi, and fellow Tortonese Giuseppe Campora. His French admirers included Debussy, Massenet, Guilmant and d'Indy, all of whom were impressed by the 1899 French Première of La Risurrezione di Cristo.[12] Unlike the other members of the Giovane Scuola, Perosi was significantly influenced by pre-Classical repertoire. Romain Rolland reports that Perosi said: "Great artists formerly were more eclectic than ourselves, and less fettered by their nationalities.... We must do as they did. We must try to recreate an art in which the arts of all countries and all times are blended." [13]

In his day, Perosi was best known for his oratorios, large-scale works for chorus, soloists, and orchestra based on Latin texts. While the works can seem slow-paced today, at the time they were quite novel not only for their fusion of Renaissance polyphony, Gregorian chant, and lush, Verismo melodies and orchestrations, but also for Perosi's deep-seated faith in the words that he had set. The oratorio as a genre had been in decline in the preceding centuries, and Perosi's contributions to the canon brought him brief but significant international acclaim.[3]

In addition to the oratorios and masses for which he is best known, Perosi also wrote secular music — symphonic poems, chamber music, concertos, etc. In his youth, he also wrote pieces for organ.

Giacomo Puccini is quoted as saying that "There's more music in Perosi's head than in mine and Mascagni's put together." [14]

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« Reply #36 on: January 29, 2014, 07:50:10 pm »

Arrigo Pedrollo: I Castelli di Remeo e Giuletta
Symphonic Legend for Piano and Orchestra (1959)



From the collection of Karl Miller


I Castelli di Remeo e Giuletta: Symphonic Legend for Piano and Orchestra (1959)
V. Pertile, piano
Trieste Philharmonic Orchestra/Bruno Bobo

Find the link in the downloads section.

Wikipedia Bio:

Arrigo Pedrollo (born Montebello Vicentino, 5 December 1878 - died Vicenza, 23 December 1964) was an Italian composer. His father was his first teacher; at thirteen he went to study at the Milan Conservatory. Among his teachers there was Gaetano Coronaro. At his graduation in 1900, Pedrollo's only symphony was performed, under the direction of Arturo Toscanini. He chose instead to compose operas in a Wagnerian cast; in 1908 his first, Terra promessa, was premiered in Cremona. His second, Juana, won the 1949 Sonzogno Prize. Between 1920 and 1936 six more of his operas saw their premieres. In 1922 he became the head of the Conservatory in Vincenza. In 1930 he returned to Milan to teach composition at the Conservatory there; he held that post until 1941. Pedrollo retired at eighty-five, five years before his death.


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« Reply #37 on: January 29, 2014, 07:55:36 pm »

Nino Rota: Concerto Soiree for Piano and Orchestra


From the collection of Karl Miller



Concerto Soiree for Piano and Orchestra
Composer, Piano
Milan RAI/Bruno Maderna


Details from Nino Rota Catalog:

Prima Esecuzione / First Performed:Vicenza, Teatro Olimpico, 23 Settembre / 23 September 1962

Direttore / Conductor:Bruno Maderna

Contenuto / Content:

    Valzer Fantasia - tempo di valzer tranquillo, Poco piu brillante ma tranquillo
    Molto piu calmo, Tempo 1
    Ballo Figurato - Allegretto calmo con spirito
    Romanza - Andante malinconico, Poco piu mosso, Veloce, Calmo
    Quadriglia - Allegro con spirito, Poco meno con spirito, Tempo 1, Un poco trattenuto
    Can Can - Animatissimo, Meno mosso, Piu mosso quasi presto

Strumentazione / Instrumentation:

    1e2 flauto (ottavino), 1e2 oboe (corno inglese), 1e2 clarineti in si bem, 1e2 fagotto, 1e2 corno in fa, 1e2 tromba in do, trombone, timpani, pianoforte, 1e2 violini, viole, violoncelli, contrabassi

Durata / Duration:00:22:00

See also:



Bio from www.ninorota.com

Composer Nino Rota (1911 – 1979) was born into a family of musicians in Milan. He was initially a student of Giacomo Orefice and Ildebrando Pizzetti until he moved to Rome while still a child and completed his studies under Alfredo Casella at the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia in 1929. In the meantime, he became an enfant prodige, famous as both a composer and a conductor. His first oratorio, L'infanzia di San Giovanni Battista, was performed in Milan and Paris as early as 1923, and his lyrical comedy, Il Principe Porcaro, was composed in 1926.

Education
From 1930 to 1932, Rota lived in the U.S.A. He won a scholarship to the Curtis Institute of Philadelphia and studied composition under Rosario Scalero and orchestra under Fritz Reiner.

Rota returned to Italy and earned a degree in literature from the University of Milan. In 1937, he began a teaching career that led to the directorship of the Bari Conservatory, a title he held from 1950 until his death in 1979.
Operas, Ballets and Orchestral Compositions

After his ‘childhood’ compositions, Rota wrote the following operas: Ariodante (Parma 1942), Torquemada (1943), Il cappello di paglia di Firenze (Palermo 1955), I due timidi (RAI 1950, London 1953), La notte di un neurastenico (Premio Italia 1959, La Scala 1960), Lo scoiattolo in gamba (Venezia 1959), Aladino e la lampada magica (Naples 1968), La visita meravigliosa (Palermo 1970), and Napoli milionaria (Spoleto Festival 1977).

He also wrote the following ballets: La rappresentazione di Adamo ed Eva (Perugia 1957), La Strada (La Scala 1965), Aci e Galatea (Rome 1971), Le Molière Imaginaire (Paris and Brussels 1976) and Amor di poeta (Brussels 1978) for Maurice Bejart.

In addition, countless of Rota works are performed worldwide.

Film Scores
Rota's work in film dates back to the early forties and his filmography includes virtually all of the noted directors of his time. The first of these is Federico Fellini. Rota wrote the scores for all of Fellini's films from The White Sheik in 1952 to The Orchestra Rehearsal in 1979.

Rota also collaborated with other directors, including Renato Castellani, Luchino Visconti, Franco Zeffirelli, Mario Monicelli, Francis Ford Coppola (he received the Oscar for Best Original Score for The Godfather II), King Vidor, René Clément, Edward Dmytrik and Eduardo de Filippo. Additionally, he composed the music for many theatre productions by Visconti, Zefirelli and de Filippo.
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« Reply #38 on: February 04, 2014, 10:19:29 am »

Hello jowcol,

strangely nobody has yet complained about your erroneous Mediafire link, which 
points to Cooke instead of Rota. I would appreciate if you could correct that link.

Best regards, mjkF
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« Reply #39 on: February 23, 2014, 08:23:57 pm »

I just noticed your post and have corrected the link.

I don't have time to follow all discussions on this site, - please use an instant message if you need to bring something to my attention, since that will trigger an email to me.   I'm sorry you needed to wait this long.
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« Reply #40 on: February 25, 2014, 03:34:01 pm »

X Legio (10th Legion) by Barbara Giuranna


From the collection of Karl Miller




E.I.A.R. Orchestra/Fernano Previtalll
LP Source: Cetra GC 2208


Snippet from Wikipedia:
Elena Barbara Giuranna (b. 18 Nov 1898, d. 31 July 1998) was an Italian pianist and composer.
Life

Barbara Giuranna was born in Palermo, Italy, and studied piano at the Palermo Conservatory with Guido Alberto Fano. He also studied composition at the Naples Conservatory with Camillo De Nardis and Antonio Savasta. She continued her education in composition at the Milan Conservatory with Giorgio Federico Ghedini.

After completing her studies, Giuranna taught at the Rome Conservatory from 1937 to 1970 and worked as an editor of 18th-century music. She was a music consultant to RAI in Rome from 1948 to 1956, and was elected a member of the Accademia di St. Cecilia in 1982. She died in Rome.[1][2]

Snippet from http://archive.is/www.intreccifemminili.com

Palermo, 18 Nov 1898 - Rome, 31 July 1998
Italian composer and pianist.
She studied the piano with Guido Alberto Fano at the Palermo Conservatory and composition with Camillo De Nardis and Antonio Savasta at the Naples Conservatory, before taking a course in advanced composition with Ghedini at the Milan Conservatory.
She taught at the Rome Conservatory from 1937, at first theory of music and solfeggio, then, from 1942 to 1970, harmony, counterpoint and fugue. Between 1948 and 1956 she was music consultant to RAI in Rome.

In 1982 she was elected a member of the Accademia di S Cecilia.
Her stage works, like the opera Jamanto, demonstrate her strong leaning towards traditional verismo.

In her earlier compositions she favoured a descriptive, programmatic mode of writing in the manner of Respighi; indeed, works such as the symphonic poems X legio and Patria are clearly conditioned by the political and cultural climate of the 1930s: in them, Zanetti, writing in 1985, identified ‘the entire baggage of fascist celebratory rhetoric and ingenuous striving after a pseudo- Roman epic style’.
Toccata and her Concerto for Orchestra bear witness to her interest in the possibilities of neo-classicism, and her later works exhibit a more eclectic modernism.
She also worked as an editor of 18th-century music.
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« Reply #41 on: February 25, 2014, 03:39:49 pm »

Music of Giovanni Salviucci

From the collection of Karl Miller

Alcesti
Turin RAI 0rchestra and Chorus/Mario Rossi

Chamber Symphony for 17 Instruments
Naples RAI Orchestra



Bio from Groves:
(b Rome, 26 Oct 1907; d Rome, 4 Sept 1937). Italian composer. A pupil of Respighi and Casella, he also read law at Rome University. Subsequently he taught counterpoint and fugue at the Istituto M. Clementi in Rome, and wrote music criticism for the Rassegna nazionale. His early death cut short a career so promising that some believe he would have ranked with Dallapiccola and Petrassi. The earliest important works bear the imprints of both Salviucci’s teachers; yet they already have a lyrical spontaneity which is his own. In the Sinfonia da camera, the most successful of these early works, he achieved a lithe, springy, neo-madrigalian exuberance, deploying his instrumental forces with a mastery not found in all his compositions.

The two orchestral pieces of 1934, though perhaps less perfectly realized, branch out in a new direction – they are fiercer, more chromatic, more rugged in rhythm. Salviucci now revealed a growing affinity with the more tense, involuted aspects of Casella’s art that also influenced the young Petrassi. Several passages (e.g. the extraordinary end to the ‘Introduzione’ of the Introduzione, passacaglia e finale, with jagged melodic fragments set against a hypnotically reiterated G on the strings) have the visionary uniqueness of genius. It is, however, in his last two works that Salviucci gave the fullest indication of his potential. Alcesti is a choral piece comparable in stature with Petrassi’s Salmo ix or Dallapiccola’s Cori di Michelangelo, without resembling either. The firmly linear, dissonant yet still basically diatonic fabric retains certain similarities to Casella, but the many incidental chromatic inflections, often producing poignant false relations, are unlike anything else, and ideally suited to the text. Even more original, though lighter, is the Serenata, whose debt to Casella is limited to a few component melodic and rhythmic details, and to the medium, clearly suggested by the older composer’s work of the same title. The result is wholly personal – not least in the first movement, abundant in its outpouring of unpredictable yet logical images and textures, and with a nervous energy which carries all before it.
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« Reply #42 on: February 25, 2014, 03:41:52 pm »

Descripton of Salviucci's Alcesti  by Benjamin Earle from www.musikmph.de

Giovanni Salviucci
(b. Rome, 26 October 1907 - d. Rome, 4 September 1937 )

Alcesti(1936/7)

How many well-known compositions are there for chorus and orchestra that do not also feature at least one vocal soloist? The list is shorter than might at first be imagined; such works that do exist tend to be on a small scale. The lack of any soloist in a full-length choral and orchestral piece is so unusual as to suggest that it ought to be read as significant in itself. In the best known twentieth-century example, Stravinsky’s Symphonie de Psaumes (1930), the absence of solo voices, like the more often noted lack of ›subjective‹ instrumental tone (two pianos replace upper strings and clarinets), would seem to be bound up with a characteristically Stravinskian socio-religious vision: of an archaic community in which individuality – if it ever existed in the first place – is replaced by collective obedience to a single all-encompassing principle. In the context of the 1920s and 30s, this is also political vision, its allegorical instantiation even. Consider the spectacle of the Symphonie de Psaumes in the concert hall. The principle that subordinates the great uniformed collectivities of chorus and orchestra is here embodied by the conductor: the only individual permitted to stand out from the mass, who by the same token controls it.

There was as little precedent for the composition of large-scale choral and orchestral works without soloists in the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Italian tradition as anywhere else, perhaps less. But once the politicized image sketched above is taken into account, it may seem less surprising that this same rare sub-genre should have been one to which all three of the leading young composers of fascist Italy in the 1930s chose to contribute. To be sure, Luigi Dallapiccola’s Terza serie dei cori di Michelangelo Buonarroti il Giovane (1935/6), at a mere twenty minutes, is scarcely ›large-scale‹. It is, nevertheless, one of his grandest and at the same time most exuberant compositions, whose current neglect is to be regretted – from a purely musical point of view, at least. The only one of these Italian works to have been commercially recorded, Goffredo Petrassi’s Salmo IX (1934/6), takes around three-quarters of an hour in performance; our present topic, Giovanni Salviucci’s Alcesti (1936/7), about half an hour. Alcesti is at once this composer’s only published composition of such dimensions and his last of any kind, its completion in July 1937 coming two months before his death, three months before what would have been his thirtieth birthday. The first performance, in November 1938, took place at the Teatro Adriano in Rome; the work’s dedicatee Bernardino Molinari conducted the chorus and orchestra of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia.

Salmo IX is pretty blatantly political. One can point here not just to the spectacle of the work in performance, but also to the noisily attention-grabbing character of much of the score, underpinned by its hard-edged, brass-heavy scoring (pianos here replace the entire woodwind section). Above all, though, there is the choice of text. In the Vulgate, the final verse of Psalm 9 reads (in translation), »Set up, O Lord, a law-maker, that the people may know what men are«, words that, as Petrassi later admitted in interview, he intended as a symbolic reference to Mussolini (see Harvey Sachs, Music in Fascist Italy, London, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1987, p. 146). Striking too is the vaunting aggression with which he sets those parts of the text dealing with the destruction of enemies, though Petrassi is rivalled in this respect by the music composed by Dallapiccola for the literally bloodthirsty text that rounds off his Michelangelo cycle. It seems no coincidence that these pieces’ composition coincided with the fascist invasion of Ethiopia: an exceptionally distasteful episode in twentieth-century Italian history that at the time nevertheless marked the high watermark of the Duce’s popularity. Nor is Salviucci’s choice of text immune to this sort of consideration. A choral hymn to the ›donna perfetta‹, the wife who gives up her life that her husband may live, seems all too consonant with the propaganda imperatives of a regime that, as the classic account has it, »sought to extirpate the very attitudes and behaviors of individual self-interest that underlay women’s demands for equality and autonomy« (see Victoria De Grazia, How Fascism Ruled Women: Italy, 1922-1945, Berkeley, Los Angeles and London, University of California Press, 1992, p. 2.) In December 1935 (eight months before Salviucci began work on Alcesti), fascist Italy witnessed extraordinary public scenes of the mass donation of wedding rings to the state to help pay for the Ethiopian campaign. Wifely self-sacrifice was the order of the day.

According to the score, Salviucci prepared his own translation and selection from Euripides. What he gives us with respect to the latter’s play is a rapid précis of its opening stages: from the first entry of the chorus (which in the original follows a grotesque dialogue between Apollo and Death) to the choral lament that precedes the entry of Heracles. To be strict, the term Salviucci uses to describe the work, »Episodio«, is not accurately employed. For this designates those passages in a Greek tragedy that fall between choral songs. And in this case there are two such passages: the first a dialogue between the chorus and a maid from the house of Admetus (Alcestis’s husband), the second a dialogue between husband and wife (or as Salviucci treats it, a monologue for Alcestis, with a single interjection by Admetus). The two episodes are not only preceded and followed but also separated by passages for the chorus alone, giving the whole a symmetrical form, ABABA. Traditionally, a composer would have set the episodes for solo voices. Salviucci instead writes solo passages for individual sections of the chorus (as indicated by the annotations in the left-hand margin of the text printed at the front of the score). After the opening full chorus, which sets the scene, tenors and basses enquire after Alcestis. Replying, sopranos and altos are the grief-stricken maid, who tells of Alcestis’s desire to see the daylight one last time. The central full chorus follows: from the marginal annotations it looks as if this continues up to the invocation to daylight: »O sole, o luce del giorno, nuvole erranti…«. But as Salviucci’s setting suggests – for sopranos alone after the first two words – this is spoken by Alcestis herself. Sopranos then continue to take her part, while the men are Admetus, until the entry of the final chorus.

From a formal perspective, Salviucci follows the model of Salmo IX (which is that traditionally adopted by composers faced with long liturgical texts): a continuous series of short, more or less self-contained movements. In Alcesti there are eight of these, starting (1) with a grandly neo-Baroque orchestral introduction in ›French Overture‹ style. The first chorus (2) gets properly underway with the Andante four bars before figure 7: a ternary form, whose outer sections place modal counterpoint against a chromatic one-bar ostinato. The enquiring men (3) follow at the Allegro moderato three bars before figure 13: a binary form with a short codetta, in the kind of ›back to Bach‹ idiom familiar from the post-1922 music of Salviucci’s teacher Alfredo Casella. The maid responds (4) from two bars before figure 18. There is an introductory Andante, after which a pedal C enters (five bars before figure 20), supporting a two-part form: a contrapuntal build-up followed by a hammering Allegro molto (figure 22). One bar after figure 23, the pedal C is finally jettisoned, but the music continues to build in intensity towards the arrival of the tremendous central chorus (5), at figure 24. Like the work as a whole, this has a symmetrical form, ABABA, alternating music marked ›Largo‹ with passages marked ›Mosso‹ or ›Movendo‹. The third Largo section assembles an ever more complex texture of dissonant contrapuntal lines in the direction of a huge double climax before figure 29, whereupon a diminuendo leads to the invocation to daylight (6) (figure 30). This is in fact an orchestral interlude with a middle section for chorus; it prepares the Allegro molto four bars after figure 34 that marks the start of Alcestis’s anguished final speech (7). As she vividly tells of Death’s approach, Salviucci responds with the most modernistic music of his score, a series of short, ostinato-based sections that reach a climax in the expressionistic outburst at figure 40. Once again the music dies down, before the final chorus (Cool begins with the Andante at figure 42.

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« Reply #43 on: February 25, 2014, 03:42:58 pm »

Continued...
Again like Petrassi in Salmo IX, but to a greater extent, Salviucci tries to bind his multi-sectioned score into a unity. Different movements share the same motivic material; there is also a recurring theme. Confined to the orchestra, this highly expressive melody, made up almost entirely of sighing appoggiatura figures, first emerges on trumpets at the climax of the opening chorus (just after figure 11) and soon reappears, this time on the bass clarinet, after the end of the following section (figure 17). We have to wait for its third appearance until almost the end of the work, in the second bar of figure 52, where it is heard on cor anglais and clarinets. After such a long absence, this last statement confirms the recapitulatory function of the latter part of the final chorus. Salviucci emphasises the symmetrical design of his text by returning here to some of the material exposed in the orchestral introduction. But this is no simple restatement: the ideas return in a new order and are recomposed to fit the new context. The climactic descent over a dominant pedal E at figure 2 returns at figure 48; the passage that originally preceded it, from the fifth bar of figure 1, now returns at figure 54. In between, the music that opened the work also reappears, much disguised, at figure 51, to set the final line of text; the very last word itself, »Alcesti!«, is set to the cadential progression first heard at bars 8-9 and repeated at bars 6-7 after figure 3.

This repeated cadence gives the lie to an observation by the conductor, critic and composer Gianandrea Gavazzeni, in an article originally dating from April 1939 (see »Aggiunta sul l’Alcesti«, in Gavazzeni, Il suono è stanco, Bergamo, Conti, 1950, pp. 325–31). Alcesti, thinks Gavazzeni, marks the »crisis« of an element that had always seemed fundamental to Salviucci’s work: his contrapuntalism. This is »music without harmonic consciousness. With no need for harmony. Chords do not come into being because no one summons them, no voice arises to call them forth.« But the sonority first heard at bar 9 of Alcesti – which one might hear as a partial statement of the tonic triad in a modal E minor, overlaid with C sharp and F sharp appoggiaturas; or perhaps as a ›Viennese‹ triad, G, C sharp, F sharp, over E in the bass – is certainly a chord, and is treated as one. The notion that Salviucci did not pay much attention to the vertical dimension of his music cannot be allowed to stand. In his article on the composer for the New Grove, John C. G. Waterhouse points to the »poignant false relations« which ensure that the score of Alcesti sounds »unlike anything else«. A quick look at the orchestral transition after figure 5 will show what he means; this is music that, by the sheer number of such semitonal clashes, clearly demonstrates the care with which Salviucci attends to harmony even in passages of four- and five-part counterpoint.

Gavazzeni complains that an excessive use of counterpoint reduces the »inventive surprises« in Alcesti to mere »corners« or »folds« in the musical fabric, and serves to heighten the work’s blemishes, in particular, a certain rhetorical over-emphasis. In a section like the beginning of the central chorus, it is true, one is reminded that Salviucci was also a pupil of Respighi. But where is the harm in that? For another critic, Fedele d’Amico, such points, where dense contrapuntal build-ups explode into »elementary, peremptory statements«, express something like the essence of Salviucci’s compositional character (see Renato Badalì, »Profilo di Giovanni Salviucci«, in Agostino Ziino (ed.), Musica senza aggettivi. Studi per Fedele d’Amico, 2 vols., Florence, Olschki, 1991, ii, pp. 675–84). Gavazzeni prefers the invocation to daylight: the first timid appearance of lyricism in its composer‘s work, he suggests. Here, as the texture thins, this critic finds the best clue to Salviucci’s possible further development. Certainly they are a beautiful few bars. But their effectiveness surely depends on the complexity of the music that surrounds them. Against Gavazzeni‘s negative judgements, one wants to affirm the quality of Salviucci’s achievement in Alcesti: the virtuosity of contrapuntal technique, the range of expressive characters, the control of large-scale musical architecture. This is a score that really ought to be better known.
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« Reply #44 on: March 02, 2015, 08:50:02 pm »

Music of Vincenzo Tommasini



From the collection of Karl Miller



Works:
Chiari di Luna
Milano RAI
Missamo Pradella


Paesaggi Toscani
Torino RAI Orchestra
Fernando Previtali



La Donne di Buon Umore, Suite after D. Scarlatti
Napoli RAI Orchestra
Mario Rossi




Wikipedia Bio:

1878 – 23 December 1950) was an Italian composer.

Born in Rome, Tommasini studied philology and the Greek language at the University of Rome, at the same time pursuing equally intensive studies in music at the Academy of St. Cecilia. In 1902 he traveled extensively throughout Europe; during this time he studied under Max Bruch in Berlin. He first achieved note with a one-act opera, Uguale fortuna, which won a national competition. His biggest success internationally was his 1916 arrangement of keyboard sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti for the Sergei Diaghilev ballet in The Good-Humoured Ladies (Le donne di buon umore). It was he and Arturo Toscanini who completed Arrigo Boito's unfinished opera Nerone.

Tommasini was a leading figure in the revival of orchestral music in twentieth-century Italy. Among his other works are Paesaggi toscani (Tuscan Landscapes) for orchestra and a set of variations, also for orchestra, on the Carnival of Venice.
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