Solo Songs of Ildebrando Pizzetti

On the basis of working backstage on a production of Pizzetti’s Murder In the Cathedral at Indiana University, where I was a graduate student in voice, I decided to try to find within his other vocal compositions a topic for my doctoral research.  After some investigation, I found out that Pizzetti had written forty-odd songs and only the first five had been reviewed. Therefore it seemed I’d be able to find a topic that fit the requirement of “original” research, by writing about some of the other songs that had not been reviewed.

First, however, it was necessary to find the musical scores of all the songs before determining which to review and the focus of the paper. This proved to be no small task; I did a lot of library searching and found a few songs in university libraries, and a handful more at the Library of Congress.  To find the rest required a trip to the National Library in Florence Italy, and to visit Pizzetti’s son Bruno, who had curated a biography of his father and was at that time still the keeper of the manuscripts. I had married that spring, and we decided on an early summer honeymoon in Italy with the additional purpose of getting the materials needed for my research.  We had a lovely afternoon drinking wine at Bruno Pizzetti’s rooftop apartment in Rome.  He graciously made copies of all the songs I couldn’t find, except those that his father had not allowed to be published.

My document examined text setting and form in six songs with texts from very different sources; each song’s style was highly dependent on the text.  A condensed version of my research was published as an article in the JOURNAL OF SINGING ˆ1993 “The Songs of Pizzetti,” Nov/Dec (Vol. 50 No. 2, p. 13).

I include a few links to recordings:

Tre Canzoni (Three Folksongs)

Tre sonetti del Petrarca (Three Petrarch Sonnets)

I Pastori (The Shepherds)

Passeggiata (Stroll)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *