Arrigo : Il Ritorno de Casanova1985 (Audio)
Director: Reynald Giovaninetti
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(b Palermo, 2 April 1930). Italian composer. He studied at the Palermo Conservatory, receiving diplomas in horn playing and (under the tutelage of Turi Belfiore) composition; in 1952 he went to Paris to study with Deutsch. He later spent time in New York (1964-5) and Berlin (1967) on grants from the Ford Foundation and the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschidienst. He won second prize in the third ISCM composition competition (1963), and first prize in the Pour que l’Esprit Vive Award (1957) and at the 1965 Paris Biennale.
Among Arrigo’s first significant compositions, Due melodie for soprano and orchestra and Due epigrammi for five voices, both from 1956, betray the influence of the linear writing of the Schoenberg school and, in the choral work, elements of the Italian madrigal tradition. Neo-madrigalian writing, along with hints of late-Romantic orchestral writing, is also evident in Epitaffi (1963), one of a number of his works to set the poetry of Michelangelo. While the impact of both the Parisian avant garde and the ‘informal’ tendencies of the early 1960s is clear in such works as Shadows (1964) and Infrarosso (1967), such influences have contributed relatively little to Arrigo’s personal stylistic synthesis.
Arrigo’s activity in the theatre began in 1969 with Orden, a dramatic oratorio in which, against the background of the Parisian cultural upheavals of 1968, the composer voiced his political and social commitment in a denunciation of the atrocities commited by Franco in the Spanish Civil War. His ‘musical epic’ Addio Garibaldi (1972) signalled a return to more traditional dramaturgy, a move confirmed in his opera Il ritorno di Casanova of 1984, which can be viewed as a synthesis of his compositional concerns up to that point.
Ezio di Cesare