Manzoni, Giacomo

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Manzoni, Giacomo

Manzoni, Giacomo, Italian composer, teacher, and writer on music; b. Milan, Sept. 26,1932. He studied composition with Contilli at the Messina Liceo Musicale (1948–50); then pursued training at the Milan Cons., where he received diplomas in piano (1954) and composition (1956); also obtained a degree in foreign languages and literature at the Bocconi Univ. in Milan (1955). He was ed. of II Diapason (1956), music critic of the newspaper L’Unità (1958–66), and music ed. of the review Prisma (1968); later was on the editorial staff of the review Musica/Realtà. He taught harmony and counterpoint at the Milan Cons. (1962–64; 1968–69; 1974–91) and composition at the Bologna Cons. (1965–68; 1969–74); also taught at the Scuola di musica in Fiesole (from 1988). In 1982 he was a guest of the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst in Berlin. He contributed articles to Italian and other journals and publications; tr. works of Schoenberg and Adorno into Italian; publ. the books Guida all’ascolto della musica sinfonica (Milan, 1967) and Arnold Schonberg: L’uomo, l’opera, i testi musicati (Milan, 1975; rev. ed., 1997). Collections of his writings were ed. by C. Tempo (Florence, 1991) and A.De Lisa (Milan, 1994). As a composer, Manzoni has embraced advanced forms of expression. While pursuing a highly individual serial path, he has explored microstructures, macrostructures, and multiphonics with interesting results.


dramatic: Opera: La sentenza (1959–60; Bergamo, Oct. 13, 1960); Atomtod (1963–64; Milan, March 27, 1965); Per Massimiliano Robespierre (1974; Bologna, April 17, 1975); Doktor Faustus, after Thomas Mann (1985–88; Milan, May 16, 1989). orch.:Fantasia-Recitativo-Finale for Chamber Orch. (1956; Milan, Jan. 21, 1957); Studio per 24 for Chamber Orch. (Venice, April 13, 1962); Studio No. 2 for Chamber Orch. (1962–63; Milan, April 20, 1963); Insiemi (1966–67; Milan, Sept. 30, 1969); Multipli for Chamber Orch. (1972; Washington, D.C., Feb. 23, 1973); Variabili for Chamber Orch. (1972–73; Bolzano, March 8, 1973); Masse: Omaggio a Edgar Varèse for Piano and Orch. (1976–77; Berlin, Oct. 6, 1977); Lessico for Strings (Piacenza, March 23,1978); Modulor (1978–79; Venice, Oct. 7,1979); Ode (1982; Milan, March 11,1983); Nuovo incontro for Violin and Strings (Florence, June 5, 1984); Adagio e solenne (1990; San Marino, May 12, 1991); Malinamusik (1990; Rome, Sept. 14, 1991). chamber: 2 Piccola suites for Violin and Piano (1952–55; 1956); Improvvisazione for Viola and Piano (1958); Musica notturna for 7 Instrumentalists (1966; Venice, Sept. 12, 1967); Quadruplum for 2 Trumpets and 2 Trombones (1968); Spiel for 11 Strings (1968–69; London, April 26, 1969); Parafrasi con finale for 10 Instrumentalists (Bavarian Radio, Munich, June 6, 1969); Quartet for Violin, Viola, and Cello (1971); 6 pieces utilizing the title Percorso: C for Bassoon and Tape (1974), a otto for Double Wind Quartet (1975), C2 for Bassoon and 11 Strings (1976; Graz, Oct. 15, 1977), F for Double Bass (1976), GG for Clarinet and Tape (1979), and H for Flute (1987); Epodo for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, and Bassoon (1976); Sigla for 2 Trumpets and 2 Trombones (1976); Echi for Guitar (1977–81); Hölderlin: Epilogo for 10 Instrumentalists (1980); D’improvviso for Percussionists (1981); Incontro for Violin and String Quartet (Naples, Nov. 22, 1983); Opus 50 (Daunium) for 11 Instrumentalists (Foggia, Nov. 14,1984); Die Strahlen der Sonne...for 9 Instrumentalists (Milan, April 21, 1985); Frase for Clarinet and Piano (1988); To Planets and to Flowers for Saxophone Quartet (1989); Essai for Flute, Bass Clarinet, and Piano (1991); Frase 2B for 3 Violins and Percussion (1993). vocal:Preludio: Grave: di Waring CuneyFinale for Woman’s Voice, Clarinet, Violin, Viola, and Cello (1956; Rome, June 30,1958); Cinque Vicariote for Chorus and Orch. (1958; Turin, Nov. 29,1968); Tre liriche di Paul Éluard for Woman’s Voice, Flute, Clarinet, Trumpet, Violin, and Cello (Rome, May 14, 1958); Don Chisciotte for Soprano, Small Chorus, and Chamber Orch. (1961; Venice, Sept. 14, 1964); Due sonetti italiani for Chorus (1961; Siena, Aug. 5, 1987); Quattro poesie spagnole for Baritone, Clarinet, Viola, and Guitar (Florence, March 21, 1962); Ombre (alla memoria di Che Guevara) for Chorus and Orch. (1967–68; Bologna, May 10, 1968); Parole da Beckett for 2 Choruses, 3 Instrumental Groups, and Tape (1970–71; Rome, May 21, 1971); Hölderlin (frammento) for Chorus and Orch. (Venice, Sept. 17, 1972); Omaggio a Josquin for Soprano, Chorus, 2 Violas, and Cello (1985; Rome, Feb. 24, 1987); Uei prea al biele stele for Men’s Chorus and Timpani (Udine, Nov. 25, 1987); Dedica for Bass, Flute, and Orch. (1985; Parma, May 9,1986); Dieci versi di Emily Dickinson for Soprano, String Quartet, 10 Strings, and 2 Harps (1988); Poesie dell’assenza for Narrator and Orch. (1990; Parma, Sept. 1992); Finale e aria for Soprano, String Quartet, and Orch. (1991; RAI, Milan, April 23, 1992); II deserto cresce for Chorus and Orch. (1992; Ravenna, July 4, 1993).


M. Romito, Le composizioni sinfonico-corali di G. M. (Bologna, 1982); J. Noller, Engagement und Form: G. M.s Werk in kulturtheoretischen und musikhistorischen Zusammenhangen (Frankfurt am Main, 1987); F. Dorsi, G. M. (Milan, 1989); Omaggio a G. M.: 1992 sesant’annil il 26 settembre (Milan, 1992).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire