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Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Mario

Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Mario

greatly significant Italian-born American composer; b. Florence, April 3, 1895; d. Los Angeles, March h 16, 1968. He studied piano with Edoardo del Valle, and then continued his training at the Florence Cons., where he took diplomas in piano (1910) and in composition in Pizzetti’s class (1913). He attained considerable eminence in Italy between the two world wars, and his music was often heard at European festivals. Political events forced him to leave Italy; in 1939 he settled in the U.S. and in 1946 became a naturalized American citizen. He became active as a composer for films in Hollywood, but continued to write large amounts of orch. and chamber music. His style is remarkably fluent and adaptable, often reaching rhapsodic eloquence.


DRAMATIC: La mandragola, opera (Venice, May 4, 1926); The Princess and the Pea, overture with Narrator (1943); Bacco in Toscana, dithyramb for Voices and Orch. (Milan, May 8, 1931); Aucassin et Nicolette, puppet show with Voices and Instruments (1938; Florence, June 2, 1952); All’s Well That Ends Well, opera (1959); Saul, biblical opera (1960); Il Mercante di Venezia, opera (Florence, May 25, 1961); The Importance of Being Earnest, chamber opera (1962); The Song of Songs, scenic oratorio (Hollywood, Aug. 7, 1963); Tobias and the Angel, scenic oratorio (1965). biblical oratorios:Ruth (1949); Jonah (1951). orch.: 3 violin concertos: No. 1, Concerto italiano (1925; Rome, Jan. 31, 1926), No. 2, The Prophets (N.Y., April 12, 1933), and No. 3 (1939); 2 piano concertos: No. 1 (Rome, Dec. 9, 1928) and No. 2 (N.Y., Nov. 2, 1939); Variazioni sinfoniche for Violin and Orch. (1930); Cello Concerto (1934; N.Y., Jan. 31, 1935); 2 guitar concertos (1939, 1953); Cipressi (Boston, Oct. 25, 1940; arranged from the piece piece, 1920); Poem for Violin and Orch. (1942); The Birthday of the Infanta (1942; New Orleans, Jan. 28, 1947); Indian Songs and Dances, suite (Los Angeles, Jan. 7, 1943); An American Rhapsody (1943); Serenade for Guitar and Orch. (1943); Octoroon Ball, ballet suite (1947); Noah’s Ark,raovement for Narrator and Orch., from Genesis, a suite, with other movements by Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Toch, Milhaud, Tansman, and N. Shilkret, who commissioned the work (Portland, Ore., Dec. 15, 1947); Concerto for 2 Guitars and Orch. (1962); overtures. chamber:Signorine: 2 profili for Violin and Piano (1918); Ritmi for Violin and Piano (1920); Capitán Fracassa for Violin and Piano (1920); Notturno adriatico for Violin and Piano (1922); I nottambuli for Cello and Piano (1927); Cello Sonata (1928); 2 piano trios (1928, 1932); 3 string quartets (1929, 1948, 1964); Sonata quasi una fantasia for Violin and Piano (1929); The Lark for Violin and Piano (1930); 2 piano quintets (1932, 1951); Toccata for Cello and Piano (1935); Capriccio diabolico for Guitar (1935; later arranged as a guitar concerto); Concertino for Harp and 7 Instruments (1937); Ballade for Violin and Piano (1940); Divertimento for 2 Flutes (1943); Sonata for Violin and Viola (1945); Clarinet Sonata (1945); Sonatina for Bassoon and Piano (1946); Quintet for Guitar and Strings (1950); Sonata for Viola and Cello (1950); Fantasia for Guitar and Piano (1950); Concerto da camera for Oboe and Strings (1950); Sonata for Violin and Cello (1950); Sonata for Cello and Harp (1966); numerous guitar pieces. keyboard: piano:English Suite (1909); Questo fu il carro della morte (1913); II raggio verde (1916); Alghe (1919); I naviganti (1919); La sirenetta e il pesce turchino (1920); Cantico (1920); Vitalba e Biancospino (1921); Epigrafe (1922); Alt-Wien (1923); Piedigrotta (1924); Le stagioni (1924); Le danze del Re David (1925); 3 poemi campestri (1926); 3 corali su melodie ebraiche (1926); Sonata (1928); Crinoline (1929); Candide, 6 pieces (1944); 6 canoni (1950). vocal: songs:Le Roy Loys (1914); Ninna-Nanna (1914); Fuori i barbari (1915); Stelle cadenti (1915); Coplas (1915); Briciole (1916); 3 fioretti di Santo Francesco (1919; also with Orch.); Girotondo de golosi (1920); Etoile filante (1920); L’infinito (1921); Sera (1921); 33 Shakespearean songs (1921–25); 2 preghiere per i bimbi d’Italia (1923); 1830 (1924); Scherzi, 2 series (1924–25); Indian Serenade (1925); Cadix (1926); 3 Sonnets from the Portuguese (1926); Laura di Nostra Donna (1935); Un sonetto di Dante (1939); Recuerdo (1940); Le Rossignol (1942); The Daffodils (1944). chora1 : 2 madrigals (1915); Lecho dodi, synagogue chant for Tenor, Men’s Voices, and Organ (1936); Sacred Synagogue Service (1943); Liberty, Mother of Exiles (1944).


N. Rossi, Complete Catalogue of Works by M. C.-T.(N.Y., 1977); B. Scalin, Operas by M. C.-T.(diss., Northwestern Univ., 1980).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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