Italy of music: the great classics

The classical music  - in its etymologic meaning, that is “music used as a model” – is the Western learned music composed between the XIIth and the XXth century. In order to correctly sort the seasons and the styles, we must underline a number of precise historical periods that come with specific authors above all within the Italian classical music, starting from the Middle Ages – from the XIIth century until the XVth century – when Guido Monaco (around 991  -1050), also known as Guido d’Arezzo stood out, he is considered the inventor of modern music, while  stave lines were introduced by Ugolino Urbevetano da Forlì (1380-1457).

In the Renaissance music- between the XVth and the XVIth century– the protagonist was Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525/26-1594), who published his first Mass book  in 1554 and dedicated it to the Pope Julius III while the moving to Baroque music (the XVIIth century and the first half of the XVIIIth ) can be ascribed to Claudio Monteverdi  (1567-1643) who wrote the opera “Orfeo”, one of the first operas for the theatre where a dramatic plot is developed. Less famous but equally virtuous is Giuseppe Tartini (1692-1770) to whom the Conservatory of Trieste is dedicated: violinist, he was the author of the famous violin sonata in Sol Minor “The Devil’s Trill”. An important representative of late Baroque is Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (1678-1741), who contributed to the development of the solo concerts without neglecting the opera. His most famous composition is “The four seasons”. Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713) brought to the climax of perfection the musical type of big concert while Antonio Salieri (1750-1825), the author of sacred music and opera, is famous for his “L’Europa riconosciuta”, performed for the first time on the inauguration of La Scala theatre of Milan on August the 3rd, 1778, it is the same opera that opened the lyrical season in 2004 at La Scala after a huge restoration. In classical music, Classicism follows the Baroques and comes before the Romanticism (XIXth century and first half of the XXth century), it can be divided into two periods: the early Romanticism with Giuseppe Verdi, Niccolò Paganini, Gioachino Rossini, Vincenzo Bellini and Gaetano Donizetti and the late Romanticism with Giacomo Puccini. Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) is the author of very famous operas that are performed all  over the world: from “Nabucco” to “Rigoletto” through “Il trovatore”, “La traviata”, “Don Carlos” and “Aida”. Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840) is considered one of the greatest violinists of the XIXth century and also a composer and guitar player of Italian romantic music. In Genoa, his hometown, in order to promote the activity of beginners violinists, the “Paganini Award” has been held at Carlo Felice theatre since  1954. Gioacchino Antonio Rossini (1792-1868) is famous for his versatility and for the different style he experimented and he is remembered above all as a great opera player, in fact he wrote a number of very famous scores such as “Il barbiere di Siviglia” and “Guglielmo Tell”. “La gazza ladra” and “Semiramide” are very famous too and the “Rossini Opera Festival is organized in Pesaro each year and it is visited by many Rossini lovers from all over the world.

Vincenzo Bellini – full name Vincenzo Salvatore Carmelo Francesco Bellini (1801-1835) - is  one of the most famous opera authors of the XIX century and also the composer of  sacred music among which the famous “Dolente immagine” as well as  “Norma” and “La sonnambula” that are famous all over the world. Gaetano Donizetti - Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti (1797-1848) – is famous above all as a composer of opera: his very famous operas such as “Don Pasquale”, “L’elisir d’amore” and “Lucia di Lammermoor” are performed all over the world. In the late Italian Romanticism  Giacomo Puccini  stands out- Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini (1858-1924) is  one of the greatest opera composers. “La bohème”, “Manon Lescaut”, “Tosca”, “Madama Butterfly” and “Turandot” (unfinished) are amazing. Even “La rondine” deserves to be mentioned, it was conceived as an operetta. Pietro Antonio Stefano Mascagni (1863 –1945), was a composer and a conductor known above all for his “Cavalleria rusticana”.

Luciana Francesca Rebonato

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