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Italian Music

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Author Topic: Italian Music  (Read 3777 times)
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« Reply #45 on: March 02, 2015, 09:01:30 pm »

Music of Riccardo Zandonai

From the collection of Karl Miller


Colombina, Overture
Orchestra of the la Fenice Theatre Venice
Carlo Felice Cillario

La Farsa Amorosa Ouverture
Torino RAI Orchestra
N. Bonavolonta

Concerto Andaluso for Cello and Orchestra
Massimo Amphiteatrof, cello

Orchestra of the la Fenice Theatre Venice
Carlo Felice Cillario

La Via della Finestra, Symphonic Suite from the Opera
Rome RAI Orchestra
Armando Gatto

Wikipedia Bio

Zandonai was born in Borgo Sacco, Rovereto, then part of Austria–Hungary.

As a young man, he showed such an aptitude for music that he entered the Pesaro Conservatorio in 1899 and completed his studies in 1902;[1] he completed the nine-year curriculum in only three years. Among his teachers was Pietro Mascagni, who regarded him highly.

During this period he composed the Inno degli studenti trentini, that is, the anthem of the organised irredentist youth of his native province. His essay for graduation was an opera named Il ritorno di Odisseo (The Return of Ulysses), based on a poem by Giovanni Pascoli, for singers, choir and orchestra. The same year 1902 he put to music another Pascoli poem, Il sogno di Rosetta. In 1908, in Milan, he was heard by Arrigo Boito at a soirée, and Boito introduced him to Giulio Ricordi, one of the dominating figures in Italian musical publishing at the time.

Zandonai's fame rests largely on his opera Francesca da Rimini, a free adaptation of a tragedy which Gabriele d'Annunzio had written expanding a passage from Dante's Inferno; it has never fallen entirely from the repertoire, and has been recorded several times. A while after the première, he married soprano Tarquinia Tarquini, for whom he had created the role of Conchita in the eponymous opera (dealing with a topic that Puccini had first considered and then rejected).

Soon, however, war broke out; patriotic Zandonai in 1916 composed a song, Alla Patria ("For the Motherland"), dedicated to Italy, with the result that his home and belongings in Sacco (then still in Austro–Hungarian hands) were confiscated (he received them back after the war).

When Puccini died without completing the music for the last act of Turandot, Zandonai was among several composers the Ricordi publishing firm considered for the task of finishing it. Puccini himself, in his final illness, seems to have supported the choice of Zandonai —certainly Toscanini looked with approval on this choice— but his son Tonio Puccini, for reasons still obscure, vetoed it. One version is that Tonio Puccini thought that Zandonai was too well-lknown and for that reason would be associated with the opera and might even overshadow his father. Ultimately Franco Alfano was chosen to complete Turandot.

In 1935 Zandonai became the director of the Rossini Conservatory in his beloved Pesaro. There he revived some works of Rossini, such as Il viaggio a Reims and the overture for Maometto secondo. In 1941 he re-orchestrated —and reduced to three acts— La gazza ladra.

Three years later, he died in Trebbiantico, Pesaro, after undergoing gallstone surgery. His last words were for the priest who announced to him that the day before, Rome had been liberated. The dying composer said, in his native dialect: "Good! Viva l'Italia;".

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« Reply #46 on: November 06, 2015, 06:45:02 pm »

Amfitheatrof Piano Concerto (1936)

From the collection of Karl Miller

Details of performance are unknown.

You are also encourged to check out these interested tidbits from his movie career.

Wikipedia Bio

Daniele (Alexandrovich) Amfitheatrof (Russian: Даниил Александрович Амфитеатров, October 29, 1901 in Saint Petersburg, Russia – June 4, 1983 in Venice, Italy) was a Russian-born Italian-naturalised composer and conductor.


    1 Early life
    2 Composer and conductor
    3 Arrival in the United States of America
    4 Hollywood
    5 Final years
    6 Selected filmography
    7 References
    8 External links

Early life

Amfitheatrof was born in Saint Petersburg, into a family that was distinguished in various areas of the arts and culture. His father, Aleksander Amfiteatrov, was a noted writer. His mother Illaria (née Sokoloff), an accomplished singer and pianist, had studied privately with Rimsky-Korsakov.

The composer's early life was one of extreme hardship. In January 1902, at the age of three months, he was removed to Siberia, where his father was imprisoned for publishing anti-Tsarist articles. In 1904 the authorities returned the family to St. Petersburg, after which time they emigrated to Italy.

At the age of six, Daniele commenced private music studies with his mother. In 1914 he was accepted as a student by Ottorino Respighi in Rome. Shortly thereafter, however, the family returned to Russia, where Alexander Amfitheatrof was appointed as political advisor to Alexander Kerensky during the few months that he was Prime Minister prior to the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. In spite of the political and social upheavals of the time, young Daniele received formal instruction in harmony under Nikolai Shcherbachov and Jāzeps Vītols at the Petrograd Conservatory between 1916 and 1918. In 1921, he was permitted to travel to Prague, Czechoslovakia for further study in counterpoint under Jaroslav Kricka.

After four years of ongoing hardships, the Amfitheatrof family escaped from Soviet Russia. Their perilous crossing through the Gulf of Finland was made in the dead of night. The family returned to Italy in the spring of 1922. Daniele became a naturalised Italian citizen and resumed his formal music training under Respighi. He received his diploma in composition from the Royal Conservatory of Santa Cecilia in Rome in 1924.
Composer and conductor

Following his graduation, Amfitheatrof took his place in Italian music circles of the day. In 1924 he was appointed pianist, organist, and assistant choral conductor of the Augusteo Symphony of Rome. Successive appointments included a position as the artistic director of the Italian Radio in Genoa and Trieste (1929–1932), as well as the management of RAI in Turin, where he also conducted many symphony concerts, choral works and operas at the Teatro di Torino (1932–1937). He also travelled extensively throughout Europe, conducting many of the leading orchestras there. Amfitheatrof's success as a composer in his own right was assured early on in his professional career by performances of his concert works, including Poema del Mare (1925), Miracolo della Rose (1926) and Christmas Rhapsody for Organ and Orchestra (1928) and American Panorama (1933). Later, he composed his first film score for Max Ophüls' La Signora di tutti (1934).
Arrival in the United States of America

Following the premiere of his programmatic work American Panorama (1935), which was conducted by Dimitri Mitropoulos in Turin in 1937, Amfitheatrof was invited by the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra to a position as Mitropoulos's associate for the first two months of the 1937-1938 concert season. Amfitheatrof arrived in the United States with his wife (née May C Semenza), his son, Erik (b. 1931), and daughter, Stella Renata (b. 1934), at New York Harbour on October 21, 1937. His arrival was noted in the New York papers.

Amfitheatrof's busy schedule with the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra included concerts in regional Minnesota and the Province of Manitoba. His appearances were well liked by audiences and received much favourable press.

Amfitheatrof also accepted a brief engagement with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the behest of their conductor, Serge Koussevitsky, in 1938.

With World War II imminent in Europe, Amfitheatrof elected to remain in the United States. He relocated his family to California on the recommendation of Boris Morros, then director of music at Paramount Pictures. Amfitheatrof was hired by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios under an exclusive four-year contract (1939–1943). His scores at MGM include those for Lassie Come Home, the first major film of a young Elizabeth Taylor. During his twenty-six years in Hollywood, where he was employed by each of the major studios at one time for another, he composed the scores (often uncredited) for over fifty films, including Letter from an Unknown Woman, The Desert Fox, The Naked Jungle, The Last Hunt, and The Mountain.[1] His final score was written for Major Dundee in 1965. (This score, which was disliked by many, including director Sam Peckinpah, was replaced with a new score by Christopher Caliendo for the reconstructed version, which was released theatrically in 2005; both scores can be heard on the DVD, released later that year).

Amfitheatrof was twice nominated for an Oscar, for his work on Guest Wife and Song of the South.

Amfitheatrof once remarked in written correspondence (citation: private letters) with his friend and colleague, John Steven Lasher, that his career in Hollywood "as a prostitute composer" ultimately tarnished his image as a professional musician. As a result, he was unable to secure commissions or performances of his concert works.
Final years

Amfitheatrof returned to Italy in 1959 and lived there for the most part until 1967. He made frequent visits to the United States during the final fifteen years of his life. Plans to secure funding for a stage musical called The Staring Match, the production of a film, and the completion of a cello concerto, were all doomed to failure. His final years were spent in relative seclusion in Venice and in Rome, where he died on June 4, 1983.
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All download links I have posted are for works, that, to  my knowledge, have never been commercially released in digital form.  Should you find I've been in error, please notify myself or an Administrator.  Please IM me if I've made any errors that require attention, as I may not read replies.

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