The Twelve-Tone Music of Luigi Dallapiccola

The Twelve-Tone Music of Luigi Dallapiccola

Brian Alegant


University of Rochester Press



Reveals the great twentieth-century Italian composer's innovative handling of harmony, form, and text setting.
Luigi Dallapiccola was one of twentieth century's most accomplished and admired composers. His music incorporated many of the twelve-tone techniques developed by Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg, and Anton von Webern, but blended their expressionistic impulses with an Italianate sense of lyricism. Brian Alegant's The Twelve-Tone Music of Luigi Dallapiccola traces the evolution of Dallapiccola's compositional technique over a thirty-year period (1942-74). Using both historical and music-analytical lenses, this book documents the influences of Webern and Schoenberg, highlights Dallapiccola's innovative handling of harmony, form, and text setting, and sheds light on several works that have been virtually ignored. Alegant's book will be a crucial source of insights for scholars and other readers interested in twentieth-century music.

Brian Alegant is Professor of Music Theory at the Oberlin College Conservatory.

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June 2010
161 line illustrations
336 pages
9x6 in
Eastman Studies in Music
ISBN: 9781580463256
Format: Hardback
University of Rochester Press
BISAC MUS020000, MUS050000, MUS007000
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Table of Contents

On the Twelve-Tone Road (1942-1950)
Aphorism and the Appropriation of Webernian Techniques(1950-1955)
The Apex of the Schoenbergian and Webernian Influence(1956-1960)
Consolidation and Synthesis (1960-1972)
Dallapiccola's Idiosyncratic Approach to "Octatonic Serialism"
An Mathilde: An Unsung Cantata
Parole di San Paolo: "A Performance under a Glass Bell"
Selected Bibliography


Wonderful insight. . . Revelatory archival work illuminate[s] the highly sophisticated way in which Dallapiccola's music relates to the verbal text. INDIANA THEORY REVIEW [Jamuna Samuel]

The book raises more questions than it answers, and that is surely a good thing: it makes one think. . . [Many of the] scores [in reduction] are quoted complete, which is certainly an aid to clarity. The analyses are therefore all the easier to contextualize. . . The analysis of An Mathilde . . . is a labour of love which really amounts to a plea for it to be recorded. TEMPO [Tim Mottershead]

'Alegant's sophisticated, accessible analyses deeply enrich our understanding of one of the most fascinating sound worlds from the twentieth century. The Twelve-Tone Music of Luigi Dallapiccola is a major achievement.' Christoph Neidhofer, Associate Professor (Music Theory), Schulich School of Music, McGill University

All three chapters [of Part 2] are major contributions to the analytical literature: the latter two are the most exhaustively detailed and clearly presented technical explications available of individual Dallapiccola compositions. Throughout the book the music examples are exemplary, and include all of An Mathilde and Parole di San Paolo in annotated reduced scores. . . . Deserves the attention of anyone seriously interested in the analysis or the history of twelve-tone music. JOURNAL OF MUSICOLOGICAL RESEARCH [Michael Eckert]

Probes . . . deeply into how, not why, Dallapiccola "composed with twelve tones." . . . Required reading. CHOICE [William K. Kearns]

Strikingly lucid and civilized exercise in interpretive analysis. . . . Hermeneutically sensitive. . . . It will be all to the good if Alegant's case studies are used in post-tonal analysis courses as models for critical emulation. MUSIC AND LETTERS [Arnold Whittall]

The immense effort [.] involved in setting so many detailed music examples and annotations in this text merits the reward of close study from students and fellow specialists, and it will be all to the good if Alegant's case studies are used in post-tonal analysis courses as models for critical emulation. MUSIC & LETTERS, November 2011

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