Luigi Dallapiccola between Politics, Text and Musical Thought: With an Appendix of New Sources


edited by Roberto Illiano, Turnhout, Brepols, 2024 (Music, Criticism & Politics, 11).

Luigi Dallapiccola represents one of the most important Italian composers of the twentieth century. Born in Pazin, on the border between three frontiers, he experienced a certain multiculturalism from a young age that led him to take an interest in the new musical languages that were flourishing.

Approaching the music of Schoenberg, from the 1930s he began his natural inclination toward twelve-tone music, which he developed fully after the 1950s. After 1950, the composer sought to bring his work into a principle of structural unity and stylistic uniformity, directing himself «toward patient clarification, toward sensibility, not theory».

This volume offers essays on Dallapiccola’s mature works, from the 1940s through to the 1970s, including the so-called ‘protest music’ works (Canti di prigionia, Prigioniero and Canti di liberazione), with analyses related to text, timbre and compositional process. In addition, the volume is enriched by an important section of musical and documentary sources, reproducing 36 letters from and to Dallapiccola, as well as musical autographs, sketches, and quotations from works such as Sex Carmina Alcaei, Il prigioniero, Canti di liberazione, and Ulisse.

Roberto Illiano is General Secretary of the Centro Studi Opera omnia Luigi Boccherini and President of the Italian National Edition of Muzio Clementi’s Complete Works. Graduated in musicology from the University of Pavia (Italy), he also received a M.Mus in Musical Philology and Paleography from the same University. He collaborated with the Stichting-Fondazione Pietro Antonio Locatelli of Amsterdam-Cremona since 1999. General Editor of the series ‘Speculum Musicae’ and ‘Staging and Dramaturgy: Opera and the Performing Arts’ (Brepols Publishers), he is a member of the advisory board of the Italian National Edition of Luigi Boccherini’s Complete Works (Secretary Treasurer) and the Italian National Edition of Pietro Antonio Locatelli’s Complete Works (Secretary Treasurer). A founder of Ad Parnassum: A Journal on Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Instrumental Music, is a member of the editorial staff of the series Ad Parnassum Studies and Quaderni Clementiani (Ut Orpheus Edizioni). He has published a variety of writing (edited volumes, articles, editions, and dictionaries entries) on 19th– and 20th-century music, in particular on Luigi Dallapiccola and Italian music under the Italian fascism.

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