Sweet Thunder
Music and Libretti in 1960s Italy

Vivienne Suvini-Hand

Italian Perspectives 16

Legenda

7 December 2006  •  304pp

ISBN: 978-1-904350-60-6 (hardback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85

ContemporaryItalianMusic


Italian music of the 1960s is one of the most unjustly neglected areas in the arena of twentieth-century classical music. This volume pays tribute to the astounding complexity of the music and libretti of five vocal compositions by leading experimental composers of the decade: Luigi Dallapiccola, Bruno Maderna, Luciano Berio, Giacomo Manzoni, and Armando Gentilucci. It highlights how the 'difficult' and unconventional methods of composition employed by these artists - dodecaphony, total serialism, Webernian minimalist techniques, aleatory and electronic music - displayed a refusal to compete with the market-place values of Italy's new capitalist society. At the same time, the libretti's collage arrangement of a plethora of European and Oriental literary sources dating from the sixteenth century BC onwards, reflected the contemporary Neo-avant-garde rejection of conventional literary practice, and their preference for 'organised disorder', in Umberto Eco's phrase.

Vivienne Suvini-Hand is Reader in Italian at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Reviews:

  • ‘Chapter 7 displays the dominating element of the five compositions: the reassertion of spiritual values over the material values of 1960s Italy. This distinctive tone makes these compositions uniquely commendable for further investigations into their influence on Italy’s artistic canon.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 47.1, January 2011
  • ‘A welcome addition to the literature on recent opera, valuable to both the musicologist and the literary scholar... The literary readings are so detailed and sophisticated that it is impossible to do justice to them here... Definitely recommended reading for those with an interest in post-war Italian culture.’ — Emiliano Ricciardi, Cambridge Opera Journal 20.3, 299-302

Bibliography entry:

Suvini-Hand, Vivienne, Sweet Thunder: Music and Libretti in 1960s Italy, Italian Perspectives, 16 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2006)

First footnote reference: 35 Vivienne Suvini-Hand, Sweet Thunder: Music and Libretti in 1960s Italy, Italian Perspectives, 16 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2006), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Suvini-Hand, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Suvini-Hand, Vivienne. 2006. Sweet Thunder: Music and Libretti in 1960s Italy, Italian Perspectives, 16 (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Suvini-Hand 2006: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Suvini-Hand 2006: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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