This volume assembles original essays from the events devoted to Florence-born American Jewish composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895-1968) presented in Florence by ICAMus in June 2015: a session of papers and live performance at the “Intersections/Intersezioni” Conference (5 June 2015) and a conference-concert at the Lyceum Club Internazionale di Firenze (8 June 2015).
The focus of the essays is on Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s unpublished art song settings Leaves of Grass and Shakespeare Sonnets.
The Whitman Songs, Opus 89 (the 10-song cycle Leaves of Grass and 2 individual songs, Louisiana and Ocean) were set in Tuscany in 1936, before the composer and his family were forced to emigrate to the United States following the enforcement of the Racial Laws in Italy.
A selection of thirty-two Sonnets by William Shakespeare, Opus 125, was set to music in the United States, in 1944-1945, 1947 and 1963.
These song settings are to be considered among Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s masterpieces, and a significant addition to the international art song repertoire.
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EUROPEAN AND AMERICAN HORIZONS OF MARIO CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO: LEAVES OF GRASS AND THE SHAKESPEARE SONNETS. ESSAYS FROM THE ICAMus EVENTS - FLORENCE, JUNE 2015. EDITED BY ALOMA BARDI
IN OUR IN-DEPTH PREVIEWS SECTION.
The contributions comprising this volume study the continuity between the European and American years of Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s career. The composer was open to an international perspective ever since his youth in Florence. In such openness, his sincere, deeply felt admiration and love for the English language, and for the English and American literature, had an outstanding role.
The four essays here published address this subject from different yet complementary angles:
Daniela Tortora draws a kaleidoscopic range of topics in her introduction to Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco and his unique position within the international musical 1900s (in Italian);
Aloma Bardi offers a multifaceted survey of the unpublished Leaves of Grass and Shakespeare Sonnets, and the composer’s lifelong fascination with literature (in English);
In her second essay, Aloma Bardi investigates the musical and human significance of Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Whitman Songs, and the unusual challenge of setting original texts, in the perspective of the composer’s Italian and American production (in Italian);
John Champagne provides a sophisticated reflection on Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s daring choice of Whitman’s poetry on the background of the many contradictions and controversies of the fascist era (in English).
We have experienced the events from which the published essays originated, as part of a true Castelnuovo-Tedesco Renaissance on both sides of the Ocean, in which ICAMus is proud and delighted to have played a committed role over the years, both in Europe and in the United States.
EUROPEAN AND AMERICAN HORIZONS OF MARIO CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO
LEAVES OF GRASS AND THE SHAKESPEARE SONNETS
Essays from the ICAMus Events - Florence, June 2015
Edited by ALOMA BARDI
TABLE OF CONTENTS
p. 3 Preface and Acknowledgments
p. 6 Daniela Tortora
L’altro Novecento di Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco: uno sguardo al catalogo
p. 15 Aloma Bardi
The Music of a Spiritual and Transparent Language: Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Unpublished Settings of Whitman and Shakespeare, and Rare Settings of Modern American Poets
p. 24 Aloma Bardi
Orizzonti americani di Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. Gli inediti Whitman Songs e Shakespeare Sonnets
p. 46 John Champagne
Whitman, Fascist Ambiguities, and Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Covert Critique
The International Center for American Music gratefully acknowledges:
“Intersections/Intersezioni” International Conference and its Organizing Committee, Francesco Ciabattoni, Fulvio Santo Orsitto, and Simona Wright;
Lyceum Club Internazionale di Firenze, its president Donatella Lippi and the president of the Music Section, Eleonora Negri;
The University of Florence, Dipartimento di Storia, Archeologia, Geografia, Arte e Spettacolo (SAGAS) – Dottorato interuniversitario Pegaso - Regione Toscana in Storia delle Arti e Storia dello Spettacolo, and Mila De Santis;
Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music, and Oberlin Music distributed by Naxos;
The Castelnuovo-Tedesco family in New York and in Florence, in remembrance of the late Ms. Lisbeth Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1936-2014), who was for many years the copyright manager for this composer’s music;
James Westby, longtime scholar of Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s biography, music, and catalogue of works;
The Library of Congress Music Division, where the Castelnuovo-Tedesco Papers are housed, and Special Collections Curator, Kate Rivers.