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Luigi Dallapiccola

luigi dallapiccola, luigi dallapiccola piccola musica notturna
Luigi Dallapiccola February 3, 1904 – February 19, 1975 was an Italian composer known for his lyrical twelve-tone compositions

Contents

  • 1 Biography
  • 2 Music
  • 3 List of works
    • 31 Writings by Dallapiccola
    • 32 Writings in English on Dallapiccola
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links

Biography

Dallapiccola was born in Pisino d'Istria current Pazin, Croatia, to Italian parents

Unlike many composers born into highly musical environments, his early musical career was irregular at best Political disputes over his birthplace of Istria, then part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, led to instability and frequent moves His father was headmaster of an Italian-language school – the only one in the city – which was shut down at the start of World War I The family, considered politically subversive, was placed in internment at Graz, Austria, where the budding composer did not even have access to a piano, though he did attend performances at the local opera house, which cemented his desire to pursue composition as a career Once back to his hometown Pisino after the war, he travelled frequently

Dallapiccola took his piano degree at the Florence Conservatory in the 1920s and became professor there in 1931; until his 1967 retirement he spent his career there teaching lessons in piano as a secondary instrument, replacing his teacher Ernesto Consolo as the older man's illness prevented him from continuing He also studied composition with Vito Frazzi at the Conservatorio Luigi Cherubini Dallapiccola's students include Abraham Zalman Walker, Luciano Berio, Bernard Rands, Donald Martino, Halim El-Dabh, Ernesto Rubin de Cervin, Arlene Zallman, Roland Trogan, Noel Da Costa, and Raymond Wilding-White See: List of music students by teacher: C to F#Luigi Dallapiccola

Dallapiccola's early experiences under the fascist regime of Benito Mussolini, who governed Italy from October 1922 to July 1943, colored his outlook and output for the rest of his life He once supported Mussolini, believing the propaganda, and it was not until the 1930s that he became passionate about his political views, in protest to the Abyssinian campaign and Italy's involvement in the Spanish Civil War Mussolini's sympathy with Adolf Hitler's views on race, which threatened Dallapiccola's Jewish wife Laura Luzzatto, only hardened his stance Canti di prigionia and Il prigioniero are reflections of this impassioned concern; the former was his first true protest work

During World War II he was in the dangerous position of opposing the Nazis; though he tried to go about his career as usual, and did, to a limited extent On two occasions he was forced to go into hiding for several months Dallapiccola continued his touring as a recitalist – but only in countries not occupied by the Nazis

Though it was only after the war that his compositions made it into the public eye with his opera Il prigioniero sparking his fame, it was then that his life became relatively quiet He made frequent travels to the United States, including appearances at Tanglewood in the summers of 1951 and 1952 and several semesters of teaching courses in composition at Queens College, New York beginning in 1956 He was a sought-after lecturer throughout Western Europe and the Americas Dallapiccola's 1968 opera Ulisse would be the peak of his career, after which his compositional output was sparse; his later years were largely spent writing essays rather than music

He had no more finished compositions after 1972 due to his failing health, and he died in Florence in 1975 of edema of the lungs There are, however, a very few sketches and fragments of work from this period, including a vocal work left unfinished just hours before his death

Music

It was Richard Wagner's music that inspired Dallapiccola to start composing in earnest, and Claude Debussy's that caused him to stop: hearing Der fliegende Holländer while exiled to Austria convinced the young man that composition was his calling, but after first hearing Debussy in 1921, at age 17, he stopped composing for three years in order to give this important influence time to sink in The neoclassical works of Ferruccio Busoni would figure prominently in his later work, but his biggest influence would be the ideas of the Second Viennese School, which he encountered in the 1930s, particularly Alban Berg and Anton Webern Dallapiccola's works of the 1920s the period of his adherence to fascism have been withdrawn, with the instruction that they never be performed, though they still exist under controlled access for study

His works widely use the serialism developed and embraced by his idols; he was, in fact, the first Italian to write in the method, and the primary proponent of it in Italy, and he developed serialist techniques to allow for a more lyrical, tonal style Throughout the 1930s his style developed from a diatonic style with bursts of chromaticism to a consciously serialist outlook He went from using twelve-tone rows for melodic material to structuring his works entirely serially With the adoption of serialism he never lost the feel for melodic line that many of the detractors of the Second Viennese School claimed to be absent in modern dodecaphonic music His disillusionment with Mussolini's regime effected a change in his style: after the Abyssinian campaign he claimed that his writing would no longer ever be light and carefree as it once was While there are later exceptions, particularly the Piccolo concerto per Muriel Couvreux, this is largely the case

Liriche Greche 1942–45, for solo voice with instruments, would be his first work composed entirely in this twelve-tone style, composed concurrently with his last original purely diatonic work, the ballet Marsia 1943 The following decade showed a refinement in his technique and the increasing influence of Webern's work After this, from the 1950s on, the refined, contemplative style he developed would characterize his output, in contrast to the more raw and passionate works of his youth Most of his works would be songs for solo voice and instrumental accompaniment His touch with instrumentation is noted for its impressionistic sensuality and soft textures, heavy on sustained notes by woodwinds and strings particularly middle-range instruments, such as the clarinet and viola

The politically charged Canti di prigionia for chorus and ensemble was the beginning of a loose triptych on the highly personal themes of imprisonment and injustice; the one-act opera Il prigioniero and the cantata Canti di liberazione completed the trilogy Of these, Il prigioniero 1944–48 has become Dallapiccola's best-known work It tells the chilling story of a political prisoner whose jailor, in an apparent gesture of fraternity, allows him to escape from his cell At the moment of his freedom, however, he finds he has been the victim of a cruel practical joke as he runs straight into the arms of the Grand Inquisitor, who smilingly leads him off to the stake at which he is to be burned alive The opera's pessimistic outlook reflects Dallapiccola's complete disillusionment with fascism which he had naïvely supported when Mussolini first came to power and the music contained therein is both beautifully realized and supremely disquieting

His final opera Ulisse, with his own libretto after The Odyssey, was the culmination of his life's work It was composed over eight years, including and developing themes from his earlier works, and was his last large-scale composition

List of works

  • Partita 1930–32, orchestra
  • Estate 1932, male chorus
  • Divertimento in quattro esercizi 1934, soprano, flute, oboe, clarinet, viola, cello
  • Musica per tre pianoforti Inni 1935, three pianos
  • Sei cori di Michelangelo Buonarroti il Giovane 1932–36, 1st series: unaccompanied mixed voices; 2nd series: two sopranos and two altos and 17 instruments; 3rd series: mixed voices and orchestra
  • Tre laudi 1936–37, voice and 13 instruments
  • Volo di Notte 1938, one-act opera
  • Canti di prigionia 1938–41, for chorus, two pianos, 2 harps and percussion a: Preghiera di Maria Stuarda; b: Invocazione di Boezio; c: Congedo di Girolamo Savonarola
  • Piccolo concerto per Muriel Couvreux 1939–41, piano and chamber orchestra
  • Studio sul Capriccio n 14 di Niccolò Paganini 1942, piano
  • Marsia 1942–43, ballet
  • Frammenti sinfonici dal balletto Marsia 1942–43, orchestra
  • Liriche greche 1942–45, a: Cinque frammenti di Saffo, for voice and chamber orchestra; b: Due liriche di Anacreonte, for singer, piccolo clarinet, A clarinet, viola, piano; c: Sex Carmina Alcaei, for canenda voice, nonnullis comitantibus musicis
  • Il prigioniero 1944–48, opera
  • Ciaccona, Intermezzo e Adagio 1945, for solo cello
  • Sonatina canonica, in mi bemolle maggiore, su Capricci di Niccolò Paganini, per pianoforte 1946, for piano
  • Rencesvals 1946, baritone and piano
  • Due studi 1946–47, violin and piano
  • Due pezzi 1947, orchestra version of Due studi
  • Quattro liriche di Antonio Machado 1948, soprano and piano
  • Tre episodi dal balletto Marsia 1949, piano
  • Tre poemi 1949, voice and chamber orchestra
  • Job 1950, sacra rappresentazione mystery play
  • Tartiniana 1951, violin and orchestra
  • Quaderno musicale di Annalibera 1952, solo piano, featuring the BACH motif
  • Goethe-Lieder 1953, for mezzo-soprano, piccolo clarinet, clarinet, and bass clarinet
  • Variazioni 1954, orchestra version of Quaderno musicale di Annalibera
  • Piccola musica notturna 1954, orchestra
  • Canti di liberazione 1951–55, for mixed chorus and orchestra
  • An Mathilde 1955, cantata for soprano and orchestra
  • Tartiniana seconda 1955–56, violin and piano, or violin and chamber orchestra
  • Cinque canti 1956, baritone and 8 instruments
  • Concerto per la notte di Natale dell'anno 1956 1957, chamber orchestra and soprano
  • Requiescant 1957–58, chorus and orchestra
  • Dialoghi 1960, cello and orchestra
  • Piccola musica notturna 1960–61, chamber ensemble
  • Three Questions With Two Answers 1962, orchestra
  • Preghiere 1962, baritone and chamber orchestra
  • Parole di San Paolo 1964, voice and instruments
  • Quattro liriche di Antonio Machado 1964, version for soprano and chamber orchestra
  • Ulisse 1960–68, opera in a prologue and two acts
  • Sicut umbra 1970, mezzo-soprano and 12 instruments
  • Tempus destruendi / Tempus aedificandi 1971, chorus
  • Ulisse Suite dall'opera/A 1971, soprano, bass-baritone, orchestra
  • Ulisse Suite dall'opera/B 1971, 3 sopranos, mezzo-soprano/alto, tenor, bass-baritone, chorus and orchestra
  • Commiato 1972, soprano and ensemble

Writings by Dallapiccola

  • Appunti Incontri Meditazioni, Edizioni Suvini Zerboni, 1970
  • Dallapiccola on Opera, Selected writings of Luigi Dallapiccola, Vol 1, Toccata Press 1987

Writings in English on Dallapiccola

  • Raymond Fearn, The music of Luigi Dallapiccola New York, Rochester, 2003
  • Edward Wilkinson, "An interpretation of serialism in the work of Luigi Dallapiccola" Phd diss, Royal Holloway, 1982
  • Ben Earle, "Musical modernism in fascist Italy: Dallapiccola in the thirties", Phd diss, Cambridge, 2001
  • Lanza, Andrea 2008 "An Outline of Italian Instrumental Music in the 20th Century" Sonus A Journal of Investigations into Global Musical Possibilities 29/1: 1–21 ISSN 0739-229X 

References

  • Steven A Kennedy, "On looking up by chance at the constellations: Luigi Dallapiccola's 'Sicut umbra'," MA thesis, UNC-Chapel Hill, 1990
  • John C G Waterhouse, "Luigi Dallapiccola" Grove Music Online
  • Anthony Sellors, "Luigi Dallapiccola", "Ulisse", "Il prigionero" Grove Music Online OperaBase

External links

  • Istria on the Internet: Prominent Istrians
  • CompositionToday: Luigi Dallapiccola Overview
  • "biography" in French IRCAM 

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