La Generazione dell'Ottanta and the Italian Sound
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La Generazione dell’Ottanta (The Generation of the Eighties) is a generation of Italian composers born in the 1880s, all of whom reached their artistic maturity between the two World Wars and who made it a point to part ways musically from the preceding generations that were rooted in operatic music, especially in the Verismo tradition. The names commonly associated with the Generazione are Alfredo Casella (1883-1947), Gian Francesco Malipiero (1882-1973), Ildebrando Pizzetti (1880-1968), and Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936). In their efforts to create a new music that sounded unmistakingly Italian and fueled by the musical nationalism rampant throughout Europe at the time, the four composers took inspiration from the pre-Romantic music of their country. Individually and collectively, they embarked on a journey to bring back what they considered the golden age of Italian music, with each one yielding a different result. Through the creation of artistic associations facilitated by the fascist government, the musicians from the Generazione established themselves on the international scene and were involved with performances of their works around the world. Immediately after the end of World War II, in an effort to condemn the excesses that led humanity to war, their music fell out of favor and the younger generation embraced different ideals, now devoid of nationalist traits. Through an analysis of what identified their music as properly Italian, it is possible to identify the missing link between the Italian operatic tradition of the nineteenth century and the modernist currents of the twentieth. In looking at the music of the Generazione more objectively, thanks to the passing of time, the talents of these four composers who were forced to work under extreme circumstances become apparent and the significance of their contributions to musical life in Italy can be critically assessed.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- La Generazione Dell’ottanta and the Italian musical tradition -- Four composers: Casella, Malipiero, Respighi, and Pizetti -- La Generazione and its relationships with the Italian musical past -- The Generazione and politics -- The Generazione in the domestic and international music scenes of its time -- Il Suono Italiano, the Italian Sound in the music of the first twentieth century -- The legacy of the Generazione -- Conclusions
D.M.A. (Doctor of Musical Arts)