Quadri di Segantini for orchestra
Quadri di Segantini
(b. Sacco, Rovereto, 30. May 1883 – d. Pesaro, 5. June 1944)
Ritorno al paese natìo p.78
Preface (by Benjamin Earle, 2016)
Riccardo Zandonai is remembered today primarily just for his opera Francesca da Rimini (Turin, 1914). A standard repertory item in Italy until well after the Second World War, it has never entirely disappeared from view. Zandonai’s other stage works are little known, and his instrumental music even less familiar. But he worked steadily in both media: there are ten operas and a similar number of major orchestral compositions. He sketched the symphonic poem Quadri di Segantini (Paintings by Segantini) in December 1930, completing the orchestration the following May. The Quadri were first performed at the Augusteo concert hall in Rome on 27 December 1931, by the Orchestra della Regia Accademia di Santa Cecilia, under the composer’s baton. A popular and critical success, they were frequently conducted by Zandonai himself during the 1930s and early 1940s, and taken up by other conductors too, notably Gino Marinuzzi and Franco Capuana. But after the war, the work fell into obscurity. This is a pity: audiences familiar with Ottorino Respighi’s symphonic poems would relish Zandonai’s colourful score.
Zandonai lived for most of his adult life in or near Pesaro, on the Adriatic coast, where he had studied between 1898 and 1901 under Pietro Mascagni. But he was a native of Sacco, nowadays a suburb of Rovereto, in the northern, mountainous region of the Trentino. A keen walker and huntsman, he maintained a lifelong nostalgia for the landscapes of his childhood and adolescence. In a letter to his friend, the journalist Nicola D’Atri (1866–1955), Zandonai described the Quadri di Segantini as the final part of a series of symphonic poems which he called Patria lontana (Distant Homeland). The theme of the Quadri is »molto Zandonaiano«, he said, »because the mountains are involved again, with all their fascination«.1
The painter Giovanni Segantini (1858–99), the most celebrated member of the Italian ‘Divisionist’ school, was born in Arco, less than ten miles west of Rovereto. After training in Milan, he returned to the mountains, settling latterly in the Engadin valley, high in the Swiss Alps. Segantini is remembered today chiefly for his symbolist allegories. During his lifetime, his more realistic landscapes seem to have been better received. In 1892, his Meriggio (Noon) (1891), also known as Mezzogiorno sulle Alpi (Midday in the Alps), won gold prize at the Munich secession; in the same year, L’aratura (Ploughing) (1890) was awarded a prize in Turin by the Italian ministry of education; in 1895, Ritorno al paese natìo (Return to the Birthplace) (1895) won an Italian government prize in Venice. These were the canvases selected by Zandonai, along with the earlier Idillio (1882).
Read full preface / Komplettes Vorwort lesen > HERE
210 x 297 mm