Personalities | Gian Francesco Malipiero | Modern Era | Classical

(Jan Fran-cha-sko Ma-le-pe-a’-ro) 1882–1973
Italian composer

Although he is deemed to have been unevenly prolific, Malipiero was described by his younger contemporary Dallapiccola as the most important figure in Italian music since Puccini. He was influenced by Stravinsky, no less radically by his discovery of early Italian music – Claudio Monteverdi (1567–1643) and Antonio Vivaldi (1678–1741), both of whose music he edited for publication – and, late in life, by his contemporary Schoenberg. In opera (he wrote dozens of unconventional stage pieces) he rejected realism and Romantic grandiloquence; in instrumental music, he preferred dramatic juxtaposition of themes to traditional symphonic development. In his finest operas, among them the extraordinary Torneo Notturno (‘Nocturnal Tournament’, 1931) and L’Orfeide (1925), especially its central ‘act’, Sette Canzoni (‘Seven Songs’), and the best of his symphonies and string quartets, he is a powerfully original composer, and is still much underrated.

Recommended Recording:
Complete String Quartets, Orpheus Quartet (Brilliant Classics)

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