Martucci, Giuseppe

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Martucci, Giuseppe

Martucci, Giuseppe, esteemed Italian pianist, conductor, teacher, and composer; b. Capua, Jan. 6, 1856; d. Naples, June 1, 1909. He began music training with his father, a trumpeter, and took up the piano at an early age. At 11, he entered the Naples Cons. and studied piano with Cesi and composition with Serrao. After successful engagements as a pianist in London and Dublin in 1885, he toured Europe. He also appeared in duo concerts with Alfredo Piatti. On Jan. 23, 1881, he made his conducting debut in Naples, and subsequently became well known for his championship of an expansive repertoire ranging from Lully to Richard Strauss. On June 2, 1888, he conducted the Italian premiere of Tritati und Isolde in Bolgona. After teaching at the Naples Cons. (1880–86), he served as director of the Bologna Liceo Musicale (1886–1902). In 1902 he became director of the Naples Cons. Toscanini greatly admired Martucci and conducted his memorial concert in Naples on July 2, 1909. In subsequent years, he programmed Martucci’s works but they failed to gain a place in the repertoire. As a composer, Martucci eschewed the traditional Italian path to success via opera, opting to concentrate on instrumental music. His works follow in the German Romantic tradition of Schumann and Brahms. His son, Paolo Martucci (b. Naples, Oct. 8, 1881; d. N.Y., Oct. 18, 1980), was a pianist and teacher.


orch.: 2 piano concertos: No. 1 (1878) and No. 2 (1884–85; Naples, Jan. 31, 1886, composer pianist); 2 syms.: No. 1 (1888–95; Milan, Nov. 28, 1895, composer conducting) and No. 2 (Milan, Dec. 11, 1904, composer conducting). chamber: Violin Sonata (1874); Piano Quintet (1878); 2 piano trios (1882, 1883); Andante for Cello and Piano (1888; also for Orch., 1907). piano: Many pieces, all of them later orchestrated:Colore Orientale-Tempo di marcia (1875); Danza (Tarantella) (1875); Minuetto (1880); Gigue (1882); Canzonetta (1883); Momento musicale (1883); Serenata (1886); Gavotta (c. 1888); Notturno (c. 1888); Novelletta (1905). vocal:Messa di Gloria for Voices and Orch. (1871); Samuel, oratorio for Soloists, Chorus, and Orch. (1881; rev. 1905); La canzone dei ricordi for Voice and Piano (1886–87; also for Voice and Orch.); many other songs.


R. Prati, G. M. (Turin, 1914); G. Tebaldini, ed., Capua a G. M. (Capua, 1915); M. Limoncelli, G. M. (Naples, 1939); F. Fano, G. M. (Milan, 1950); Comitato nazionale per la celebrazione del centenario della nascita di G. M.: Nostra di autografi, cimeli e documenti (Naples, 1956).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire