ILDEBRANDO PIZZETTI (1880 - 1968)
Among the most respected Italian composers of his generation, Pizzetti has in recent years suffered some neglect, due, in part, to his natural conservatism in an age of experiment. He was, however, versatile and prolific; ambitious in opera, he also contributed interesting additions to choral and vocal repertoire, as well as chamber music.
Pizzetti wrote over 20 operas, collaborating in earlier years with D’Annunzio, with whom he wrote the opera Fedra (‘Phaedra’). His Assassinio nella cattedrale (‘Murder in the Cathedral’) treats a translation of T.S. Eliot’s play, while his last opera, Clitennestra (‘Clytemnestra’), with a libretto by the composer, was staged at La Scala, Milan, in 1965. His Sinfonia del fuoco (‘Symphony of Fire’) was written for the silent film Cabiria to a scenario by D’Annunzio.
Choral and Vocal Music
Pizzetti’s choral music, much of which again draws its literary source from ancient Greece and Rome, includes a Requiem and the cantata Vanitas vanitatum (‘Vanity of Vanities’), with a text from Ecclesiastes.
In addition to various works for piano, Pizzetti left two string quartets as well as interesting duo sonatas for violin and piano, and cello and piano.