Italian Music 4

In the 20th century, Italy made its own contribution to the genre of film music. N. Rota created around 150 film scores for directors such as F. Fellini (“La Strada”), L. Visconti (“The Leopard”) and FF Coppola (“The Godfather”). E. Morricone was best known as a specialist in spaghetti westerns (“Play me the song of death”), but also wrote the music for films such as “Trio infernal” with R. Schneider and “In the line of fire” with C. Eastwood and is also a versatile concert composer. For more articles about Italy and Europe, please follow Ezinereligion.

Musical life

Italy’s rich musical heritage is reflected to this day in a lively cultural scene. Important opera houses can be found next to the world-famous La Scala in Milan , among others. in Venice (La Fenice), Naples (San Carlo), Genoa (Carlo Felice), Bologna, Florence, Rome and Palermo. On the other hand, F. Mendelssohn Bartholdy missed a flourishing orchestral landscape as early as 1831 during his Italian trip, and this is how today’s most renowned Italian orchestra, the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, which was founded in 1908, looks onin Rome, can only look back on around 100 years of history. In the meantime, ensembles such as the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI of the Italian radio (founded in 1931), the baroque ensemble “I Solisti Veneti” (founded 1959), the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi in Milan (founded 1993) and the Orchestra Mozart are reviving in Bologna (founded in 2004 by C. Abbado) the musical culture, which also lives from numerous internationally important festivals. The opera festival in the Arena of Verona premiered as early as 1913, later followed by, among others. the Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago and that of H. W. Henze Founded Festival “Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte” (all Tuscany), the Rossini Festival in Pesaro (Marche), the Ravello Festival (Campania), the Orfeo Music Festival in Sterzing (South Tyrol), the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto (Umbria) and the Umbria Jazz Festival. Italy’s position as the (former) music stronghold of Europe is represented not least by numerous top-class artists in the past and present such as the conductors A. Toscanini, T. Serafin, C. Abbado and R. Muti; the opera singers E. Caruso, B. Gigli, A. Patti , L. Pavarotti, R. Tebaldi , C. Bartoli and M. Freni ; Pianists such as A. Benedetti Michelangeli , Sergio Fiorentino (* 1927, † 1998), B. Canino and M. Pollini. Numerous renowned conservatories ensure the training of the next generation of musicians, including in Milan, Bologna, Florence, Genoa, Naples, Rome and Siena.

Folk music

The wealth of Italian folk music lives from the influences of the Celtic, Slavic, Persian, Greek, African, Arab and Roma culture (s) and from the numerous regionally independent developments that can only be sketched out here. In northern Italy, a diverse repertoire of ballads has established itself, which are performed as soloists, in two voices or as a chorus – workers’ songs with social content by women and entertainment songs by men. Lullabies (»Ninna-nanna«) and dance songs such as the Venetian Villotta are also widespread, while the Trallalero – an elaborate five-part male choir among others. with Falsetto voice and »chitarra«, a guitar-imitating singer – is now only cultivated in the Genoa region. A specialty of Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany is “Maggio”, a (stage) play with secular or spiritual content to welcome spring (“maggio” also refers to the month of May). The most widespread is the “maggio drammatico” as a folk theater in historical costumes, which goes back to ancient peasant rituals and in a sung story confronts two rival groups – mostly pagans and Christians; Accompanying instruments were initially violin and violone, today it’s mostly accordion and guitar. As a spiritual counterpart, the »maggio lirico« is cultivated above all in the traditional Villa Minozzo in the province of Reggio Emilia.

The vocal music of central and southern Italy can be found in numerous, regionally different forms, the central characteristic of which is improvisation. The term »canto lirico monostrofico« encompasses a variety of forms of singing, from one to several voices, with and without instrumental accompaniment (e.g. the bagpipe-like zampogna, which only sounds at Christmas time), from the serenade to the workers’ and entertainment song to the Dance song (tarantella and saltarello with characteristic tambourine accompaniment). Typical of Sicily is the “Passiuna tu Christù”, a religious folk song in Greek about the Passion of Christ.

Very independent musical traditions have developed in Sardinia. Famous is the “Canto a tenore”, which has been cultivated for generations, performed by an improvising solo singer, to which three singers respond in artistic polyphony, which was declared an intangible world heritage by UNESCO in 2005. This music primarily tells of the life of the shepherds, but also of other events in everyday (work) life. One of the most popular dances is the Ballo Tondo Sardo, a round dance also known as “ballu sardu”, “ballu tundu” or “duru-duru”.

Folk song researchers such as Diego Carpitella (* 1924, † 1990), Franco Coggiola (* 1939, † 1996) and Roberto Leydi (* 1928, † 2003) as well as the Instituto Ernesto de Martino in Sesto Fiorentino near Florence (founded 1966) ensure that the folkloric traditions stay alive and inspire bands like La Lionetta, La Ciapa Rusa, Re Niliu, Calicanto and Barabàn.

Italian Music 4