Malipiero and Dallapiccola: On the History of New Music in the 20th Century Italy


Two outstanding composers played a great role in the formation of new music in Italy: Gian Francesco Malipiero (1882–1973) and Luigi Dallapiccola (1904–1975). It is notable that their innovative work was marked by profound interest in the historical past. Unlike most of his Italian contemporaries and predecessors, Dallapiccola treated chamber vocal lyrical pieces as a genre no less important than the opera, which had never been done in Italian music before.
In the work of Malipiero, the art of the Italian madrigal of the late 16th century was actualized. It was Malipiero who drew Dallapiccola's attention to the promise of madrigal from the standpoint of modern music. Inspired by Malipiero's creations, the twenty-eight-year-old Dallapiccola began composing his first opera. Then the young composer did not have enough experience to carry out such a project. But for the texts selected for the opera, Dallapiccola wrote chamber vocal works over the next few decades. Unlike most of his Italian predecessors and contemporaries, chamber vocal poetry acquired from Dallapiccola a meaning equal to that of opera, which had not been found in Italian music before.