Scontrino, Antonio – ‘Sinfonia marinaresca’ First Symphony in D major
(b. Trapani, 17 May 1850 – d. Florence, 7 January 1922)
(1st Symphony in D major) (1896)
I Parte prima. Mare calmo. Allegretto non mosso (p. 3)
II Parte seconda. Nell’ isola delle Scimmie. Scherzo. Allegretto vivace (p. 41) – Trio. Meno mosso (p. 50) – Scherzo. Tempo primo (p. 65)
III Parte terza. Canto delle Sirene. Andante molle, voluttuoso (p. 82)
IV Parte quarta. Tempesta. Lentamente (p. 101) – Allegro (p. 102) – Lentamente – Allegro (p. 104) – Presto – Largo (p. 130) – Allegro (p. 131) – Stringendo (p. 144)
The case of Antonio Scontrino is strange in terms of reception history. Scontrino was amazingly established internationally for an Italian composer during his lifetime, and his music completely disappeared from the repertoire at the latest a few decades after his death. An important role is played by the fact that Sicily traditionally takes no initiative at all for its culture, and Scontrino was strongly influenced stylistically by German models as well, and enjoyed a more excellent reputation as a composer in Germany and England than in Italy.
Born in the historically significant Sicilian port city of Trapani, which unfortunately has been largely destroyed by Allied bombing during World War II, Antonio Scontrino grew up in a musically active environment. His father was not only a specialist in caulking ships, but also a remarkable violin maker. His amateur orchestra was predominantly made up of members of the family. When his son Antonio was seven years old, he received double bass lessons, since this instrument was lacking in the orchestra at home. Each time he mastered the accompaniment of another piece, he received ten cents as a reward.
Antonio Scontrino received his first systematic music lessons from Giovanni Coppola di Enna, an art professor with a great passion for the violin. In 1861, at the age of eleven, he was admitted to the Palermo Conservatory with double bass as his main instrument, where he gave his first concert as a virtuoso on an instrument built by his father. He also studied piano, violin and other instruments and was instructed in harmony by Luigi Alfano, who became famous as the composer of the five-act ballet ‘Giuocoliera’ (1862). And he became a counterpoint and composition student of Pietro Platania (1828-1907), once the favorite pupil of the legendary Italian counterpoint master Pietro Raimondi (1786-1853). Platania was director of the Palermo Conservatory, then he became maestro di cappella at Milan Cathedral in 1882, and director of the Naples Conservatory from 1885 to 1902. Platania wrote the Sanctus for the collective requiem mass for the late Gioacchino Rossini at the suggestion of Giuseppe Verdi, and was fond of composing large-scale, archaic polyphonic works, some of which were published by Breitkopf & Härtel. In 1878 he wrote a choral symphony for the coronation celebrations of King Umberto I in Turin, the success of which was probably one of the reasons for his appointment to Milan four years later. On March 29, 1891, his opera ‘Spartaco’ was premiered with great success at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples. …
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