Music of Luigi Dallapiccola this weekend. One of the leading figures in Mid-Century Classical Music, especially in America. Dallapiccola was born in Croatia of Italian parents. During the early part of his life he was teaching Piano and giving recitals throughout Europe. Composing was something sporadic at this time. Having begun at 17 and stopped for a few years after reportedly heading a performance of Debussy. He would also be influenced by Ferruccio Busoni. Dallapiccola resumed in the 1920s and continued through the 1930s where he adopted the 12-tone method based on his encounter with the Second Viennese School and the work of Alban Berg.
World War 2 created more problems for the composer. Against the Nazi regime, but was an early supporter of Benito Mussolini, until he took a closer look. His political views got him in trouble, and on numerous occasions he would be forced into hiding.
After the War he traveled to the U.S. where he spent several summers studying at Tanglewood and teaching composition at Queens College starting in 1956. It was during the postwar period that the music of Luigi Dallapiccola gained recognition and popularity in the U.S. Later on in the 50s he was a much sought-after lecturer throughout Europe.
The fragments of his ballet Marsia were composed in 1943, during one of the chaotic periods in Dallapiccola’s life. Leading the New York philharmonic, in this 1954 broadcast performance is the legendary conductor Guido Cantelli, whose tragic death in a Plane crash just as his career was taking off, stunned the music world. Cantelli was particularly fond of the music of Dallapiccola and did much to champion it in the U.S. – this was typical of a Cantelli concert; inserting a new or seldom heard work into a program of familiar music.
This is a historic performance by a legendary conductor of music by a legendary figure in mid-century Music – worth checking out, by merely Googling his name and taking it from there.
Enjoy either way.