Italian opera retained its broad impact in the second half of the 18th century and well into the 19th century. Without being significantly affected by the Viennese Classic, she achieved world successes with works by G. Rossini, V. Bellini, G. Donizettiand G. Spontini. The dominant figure in the second half of the 19th century was G. Verdi, whose masterpieces still dominate the opera stages today. After “Rigoletto” (1851), “Il Trovatore” and “La Traviata” (both 1853), “La forza del destino” (1862), “Don Carlos” (1867), “Aida” (1871) and others. he created his most mature stage works with “Otello” (1887) and “Falstaff” (1893). P. Mascagnis “Cavalleria rusticana” (1890) and R. Leoncavallos “I Pagliacci” (German: “The Bajazzo”; 1892) distanced themselves from the Wagnerian musical drama and were the first works of musical naturalism (verismo) to have a great effect on the operas of the whole World. The last internationally successful master of Italian opera was G. Pucciniwith works such as “La Bohème” (1896), “Tosca” (1900) and “Madama Butterfly” (1904). E. Wolf-Ferrari who followed up on the old opera buffa in his theatrical works, but also made a veristic contribution with “I gioielli della Madonna” (1911; German “Der Schmuck der Madonna”), celebrated his greatest artistic successes in Munich, where a. his operas “I quattro rusteghi” (1906; German: “Die vier Grobiane”) and “Il segreto di Susanna” (1909; German “Susanna’s secret”) premiered. Aside from any styles and schools, there is not only stage drama, but also the complete oeuvre of F. Busoni with his partly anti-romantic tonal language known as “Young Classicity”. For more articles about Italy and Europe, please follow Franciscogardening.
The generation of the »generazione dell’ottanta«, the composers born around 1880, increasingly turned away from the emotionality of verism (with the exception of E. Wolf-Ferrari) at the beginning of the 20th century. Instead, it took on the influences of Impressionism and late Romanticism on the one hand, and on the other, drew on earlier epochs, for example with O. Respighi, who wrote in his symphonic poems influenced by R. Strauss, such as the Roman trilogy (»Fontane di Roma«, »Pini di Roma “,” Feste Romane “; 1917–29) gained rich colouristic effects from the modern orchestra and was also inspired by Gregorian chant. I. Pizzetti strived for a synthesis between modern and baroque musicand G. F. Malipiero, et al. based on forms such as the Concerto grosso, while A. Casella created both neoclassical and modernist works. An important impulse came from Italy itself around 1910 through the movement of futurism, which among other things. Stimulated the Mascagni students F. B. Pratella and L. Russolo to their quarter-tone music and their sensational noise compositions in the sense of a musique concrète.
At the same time, a lively examination of the diverse currents of the European avant-garde began. The change from the neoclassical to dodecaphonic composition, which has dominated since the 1920s, characterizes the work of G. Petrassi and L. Dallapiccola, who also achieved a revival of a traditional Italian genre as so-called neo-madrigalists. Important representatives of serial, aleatoric and electronic music are L. Berio, B. Maderna and F. Evangelisti, who founded the group “Nuova Consonanza” in 1965, while F. Donatoni, N. Castiglioni and G. Scelsi experimented with sound (color) compositions. L. Nono is considered an outstanding personality in Italian music of the 20th century, who alongside L. Berio gave opera new impulses and, like L. Dallapiccola, is a staunch pioneer of a »musica impegnata«, a music supported by political commitment.
In addition to the “Festival Internazionale di Musica Contemporanea” in Venice, founded in 1930 and 1933, and the “Maggio Musicale Fiorentino” in Florence, Milan advanced to the center of contemporary music in the 1950s, where L. Berioand B. Maderna 1955 founded the “Studio di Fonologia Musicale” for experiments with electronic music. In addition, numerous organizations and festivals are dedicated to cultivating and disseminating contemporary music, including the “Associazione Nuova Consonanza” in Rome (founded in 1959), the “Settimana Musicale Senese” of the Accademia Musicale Chigiana and the “Festival Spaziomusica” in Cagliari. As in other European countries, contemporary Italian music is characterized by a pluralism of styles. The central genre is the opera, which among other things. with G. Manzoni, L. Lombardi and Fabio Vacchi (* 1949) is the compositional focus. L. Berio, S. Bussotti also set their own accents with his »Bussottioperaballet«, Lorenzo Ferrero (* 1951) (e.g. with his one-act play »Risorgimento!« for the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy) and above all G. Battistelli, who has been involved since the premiere of »Experimentum Mundi «(1981) established himself as a world-renowned stage composer. One of the most important South Tyrolean composers is Hubert Stuppner (* 1944), whose diverse oeuvre, among others. contains a new setting of the “Carmina burana” already arranged by C. Orff. Restorative tendencies in the sense of the “new simplicity”, on the other hand, have so far received little response in Italy, but can be found in isolated cases, for example in the work of Raffaele Bellafronte (* 1961).