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date: 15 December 2019

Petrassi, Goffredo (opera)locked

  • Alasdair Jamieson

Extract

(b Zagarolo, nr Palestrina, July 16, 1904; d Rome, March 2, 2003). Italian composer . From the age of seven he was brought up in Rome; he was educated at the Schola Cantorum of S Salvatore in Lauro and (after nine years working in a music shop) at the Conservatorio di S Cecilia (1928–33), where he gained diplomas in composition and organ playing. Between 1937 and 1940 he was Superintendent of the Teatro La Fenice, Venice. On his return to Rome he began a teaching career which continued until his retirement in 1978.

Although a late starter by conventional standards, Petrassi gained rapid national and international recognition with his Partita (1932) – a work revealing a formidable orchestral technique combining clarity and rhythmic drive inherited from Hindemith and Casella, though by 1940 Stravinsky had become the principal stylistic influence. The onset of World War II and the collapse of Fascism provoked a period of profound self-examination; this is reflected in Petrassi’s compositions from the 1940s, which include his two operas. ...

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