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Among many interesting contemporary developments of musie the work of G. Francesco Malipiero possesses a triple value: it combines a technical invention which has contributed considerably to the extension of modern tone resources, a co-ordinate intelligente which has created new dramatic values and forms in music, and a sensitive imagination productive of conceptions which give to that art novel psychological significances.
These qualities have rendered Malipiero a powerful factor in the present revival of Italian music, of which his work may be said to epitomise the essential characteristics, - a persistent striving after the most direct and exact musical mood-expression resulting in a complete revision of form-conception and an empirie technique directed towards this end which has necessitated a repudiat ion of almost all the traditional canons and formulae. The present aspects assumed by these charaeteristics derive directly from a vigorous reaction against the banality and monotony produced in Italian music by more than a century of false sentiment, vulgar sensationalism, and platitudinary conveption, by which that music has been reduced to a third rate position among the other types of European music which it once dominated.
Essentially, however, they go right down to the fundamentals of a representatively Italian psychological type. For the characteristics which distinguish the music of Malipiero and kindred Italian composers, aesthetically and technically, are products of a type of mentality constant in the Italian race throughout its history. From this mentality derives that curiously spontaneous and inspired capacity for co-ordination and construction which produced successively the Roman Empire, the world-dominant Catholic Church with its manifold institutions, the development of mediteval states such as the Venetian Republie, and the final unification of these during the last century. Gregory the Great, Rienzi, Boniface VIII, Leonardo da Vinci, Machiavelli, Cavour, Leopardi, and Lombroso are individual examples of this mental type.
This side of the Italian race charaeter is one almost entirely overlooked, or sentimentally ignored, with a certain implied condescension, in the popular estimations of Italy in this country and other places abroad. As a result of this, a huge field for that opportunism and roguery which, as far back as the «Commedia dell'Arte», which symbolised the various race characteristics in fantastie 'maschere', or masked figures, had become recognised attributes of another type of Italian mentality. The operatie abortions which are popularly supposed to represent the musical genius of Italy are the most widely known of the many charlatan enterprises encouraged by this foreign sentiment and superficial taste.
It is, however, but part of the nauseating falsity which permeates the life of cities such as Florenee, Venice, and Rome in the multiple form of the 'industria degli forestieri', or «industry for the foreigners». This «industry» is nothing more than a designed pandering to the credulity ànd vulgar romanticism of the foreign tourist, but its widespread development has exercised a baleful influence. Through it wide areas and beautiful places in Italy have, become a sort of art-mortuary, or a side show of which the stage propertics are the obsolete building, the «quaint», dirty trattoria (or café), the spurious «antique», and the «picturesquely» unwashed beggars and street vendors whose odour permeates the «City of Flowers», or whose tinsel wares are now the common adoruments of the debased «Queen of the Adriatie». But its most widely exploited departement is that of operatie melody. As Malipiero himself has written (The Chesterian, Oetober, 1919):
Italian musie of the nineteenth century is one buge torrent of melody. The orchestra, which in the eighteenth century began to show signs of dangerous rivalry, is shown in its proper place; harmony is banished;, they sing, sing, sing. It is an orgy of melody, an inexhaustible mine, and thanks to that exuberance it became possible later on to organise the exportation of melody and singers. Great commercial agencies were established which monopolised Italian musie and set up centres of propaganda, thus exploiting one of the most characteristie manifestations of Latin genius.The greatest debt we owe to America and some other golden lands! Great treasures have thus l;een accumulated which, transformed into palpable fortunes, have become indirect centres of radiance. These advantages have been felt as far as the motor car industry. The musical nature of the Italian people has been appreciated by the whole world, even to such a point that, when Italy came into the war, both allìes and enemies asked themselves in wonderment how the soldiers of so musical a people could possibly endure the noise of guns.
While caustic, these remarks deseribe very accurately the position in which Italian musie bad remained for a century before the rise of the contemporary group of young composers. Only the artists of a race of low intelligenee, or spìrìtually debased, could passively endure such a state without revolt. Re-action was inevitable; for the characteristics of nineteenth century Italian musie cannot ho regarded as expressions of a constantly dominant Italian trait; nor the lack of taste which it epitomises as a proof of the inherent grossness of the Italian temperament. The innate sensibility and sincerity of the Italian nature is exemplified in the simplicity of St. Francis d'Assisi, the fanatical austerity of Savonarole, the sense of form of Giotto, Botticelli, Mantegna, and da Vinci, the exquisite style of Boccaccio, the satire of Rapisardi, the aesthetic sensibility of Croce, the practical idealism of Garibaldi, the analytical clarity of Lombroso, the inventive capacity of Marconi, the critical penetration and irony of Giovanni Papini, and F. T. Marinetti.
This sensibility, common to the whole of the young Italian group, is augmented in Malipiero by a popular kind of broad and imaginative construetive vision which gives to his work a particularly personal idiom while never obscuring his conceptions by oversubjectivity. This constructive vision, however, is something different from the faculty for measurement and arrangement possessed by the German musicians, and the results of its operation are correspondingly dissimilar. For Malipiero does not mistake the means for the end: to him form is but the vehiele for expression, whereby it must be moulded. And since his mentality is of an acutely sensitive, modern kind, responsive to entirely new force-combinations and influences, the sound-matter in which it is expressed has a corresponding novelty.
This, of course, applies only to the mature work of Malipiero. Like all sensitive natures, his early output is marked by signs of impressionability; there is i-io mistaking the Debussyste derivation of certain passages in the songcycle setting of d'Annunzio's «Sonetti delle Fate».
Nevertheless, such direct examples of assimilation are rare in even the early work of Malipiero; for, broad though his musical erudition obviously is, he is no mere learned type. Naturally the first distinct mark on bis musie was that of French Impressionism: the racial Latin bond and the period in which Malipiero emerged into musical life rendered this almost inevitable. But the process which such influences undergo in absorption by Malipiero, together with the new elements with which they come into contact in bis curiously complex braffi, sends them forth metamorphosed when they reappear in his musie. This, coupled with the fact that he has assimilated almost every knowin type of construetive technique, tends to preserve his work free from any particular cult-mannerism. Nor is such technique as he has acquired from other than his own initiative merely appropriated; it is applied in novel ways, or fused with fresh material, in such manner that it assumes a new aspect and a new funetion. And in any case, at his present stage of developing certitude, it seldom exercises a more positive influence than does the nineteenth Russian «Koutschka» coterle on contemporary Paris - or, probably more exactly - than did the seventeenth century Monodia on the vocal recitative of Debussy.
Such extraneous ideas as Malipiero bas absorbed into bis musie are overshadowed by the proportions of his ìndìvidual innovations, in which they are as submerged as were the classical contrapuntal canons in the work of Wagner. For Malipiero is slave to no system: his methods are conceìved particularisedly to cope with each problem of expression with which he finds himself faced, and the matter is entìrely determined by the character of the coneeptìon which it is intended to convey. Thus at times Malipiero is restrictedly modal while again he allows himself the most fluid latitude. But, notwìthstandìng this eelectìcism, there is always present a strong personal impulse and individuality of thonght which interweaves these diverse elements, gìvìng them colierenee and unìty.
In such co-ordination the synthetie nature of his conceptions, which present the broad outlines of their component quantitics only, creates a massive sense of form dominated by a spiritual element perpetually hovering on the verge of austerity, a kind of classical severity caused by the elimination of all save the bare essentials. By this charaeteristic, however, his musis gains a curiously direct quality of appeal and a curious simplicity of proportions. Compared with the prolix effusiveness of nineteenth century Italian music, against which it marks a revulsion, all the more mature work of Malipiero has an almost crude vigour, at times quite primitive in its expression: compositions such as «La Notte dei Alorti» (from the «Poemi Asolani») demonstrate this very clearly. (See Ex. 1).
The source of this characteristic is probably found in the symbolie view Malipiero inelines to take of all phases of reality, that curiously visionary outlook determined by an intuitive perception of the general principle governing unrelated phenomena, and thus placing them in broad groups which a purely external visualisation would not reveal. Even his «realistic» works, such as the «Impressioni dal Vero» for orchestra (1910-11), have much of this quality; similar to that which permeates such works of Verhaeren as «Les Villes Tentaculaires» and «Les Campagnes hallucinées», which gives to them a certain almost terrifying spiritual magnitude essentially classical.
This latter is an outeome of that preoccupation with psychologìeal phenomena which I have referred to earlier, and which renders compositioDs such as the piano pieces collectively entitled «Risonanza» (1918), something in the nature of a record of spiritual reverberations as well as an objeetive enquiry into tonal dynamics. Its presenee is felt in ever-increasing force throughout the later works, notwithstanding their external dissimilarity in subject-matter and mood-content: the «Barlumi» (1917), are as much fiashes of different kinds of consciousness as they are studies of light-sensation of tonal-colour brillance; the «Maschere che Passano» (1918), are as much the symbols of successive moods as the figures of a fantastie procession; throughout the imaginative decorative features «La Mascherata delle Principesse prigioniere: Azione coreografica» (1919), the harsh verism of the «Sette Canzoni» (1919), and the bizarre tragedy of «Pantea: dramma sinfonico» (1918-1919), its presence can be discerned, as elusive as that sub-consclous mental life which it expresses, but as palpable in effect on the aetion about it.
Particularly is this case in «Pantea», the first of Malipierols novel dramatie stage coneeptions. Laid out for solo dancer, hidden voices, and orchestra, the subject-matter deals with the hallucinations of the repressed Pantea, a symbolie figure imprisoned in a grim chamber from whenee «only the blue of the sky can be seen». In essence it might be characterised as the first art-conception created from the matter which serves psycho-analyists such as Freud for the basis of their scientifle works. Stirred by singing from without, Pantea passes through a scries of delusions: the first presents her striving to reach the summit of a steep mountain - incline, buffeted by the raging tempest; the second epitomiscs all her yearning for freedom in the form of a «boundless meadow», where, intoxieated with sunlight, lier joy ultimately culminates in vertigo,; the third presents her flying through a fabulous forest of trees, where she «appears as though scourged by a thousand bands». To these hallucinations succeeds an Epilogue, where Pantea, impelled beyond resistance by the singer of the Prologue, forces open her prison door, only to be confronted by a faceless shadow. The drama ends with the convulsive death-dance of this tragie symbol of our repressed souls.

In the «Sette Canzoni», Malipierols psychological interest takes more objective form, that of a terse eyele of genre episodes. The action is laìd out for mute pantomimic actors, hidden singers, and orchestra, and the treatment constitutes a modern application of the song to stage purposes which completely negates the absurd conventions of Italian melodramatic opera, and derives from the true spring of Italian art-music, the dramma per musica of the Camerata fiorentina, the seventeenth century body of composers whose number included Peri, Monteverde, Cavalieri, Caccini, Galilei and Marenzìo. The songs of the «Sette Canzoni» are not lyrical in the accepted sense: they are conceived, not with indipendent value beyond that of dramatie significance, but asan intrinsie part of the psychological matter and actionincidents of the seven different episodes. In the musical substance, the ordinary thematic development is relinquished in favour of a synthetic method attained by kinematographie succession of single themes.

Spaces does not permit a detailed deseription of the subject matter of each episode. But the titles are quite indicative of the different types. They are: (1) The Vagabonds, (2) The Vespers, (3) The Return, (4) The Drunkard, (5) The Serenade, (6) The Verger, (7) Ash Wednesday. The construction of each is amazingly direct in effect and almost all the action is informed by a subtle sense of irony. But, despite the veracity of the treatment, there is nothing of the ordinary sort of realism. Even at such times as Malipiero utilises the results of his empiric tone-experiments to produce a suggestive effects, as in the scene of the callous verger, who sings unconcernedly as he pulls the rope of the alarm bell when a great fire is raging, and calmly sits down to smoke when it is overcome, the sound-matter has an intrinsie logic and aural appeal, and is directed solely towards creating a psychological state.

The «Mascherata della Principessa prigioniera», «Pantea» and the «Sette Canzoni» mark the inception of an entirely new phase of music-drama, to which Malipiero has since added a music-comedy, «Le Baruffe Chiozzotte», based on the comedy of Goldoni, in which the essential intention of the seventeenth century monodia is revived and developed in a recitativo parlato, through which the dialogue is conveyed and which is based on the inflections of the speaking voice.

These works comprise the major and most significant part of Malipierols compositions, with the exception of the «Pause del Silenzio» for orchestra, a tour de force of scoring which manifests that genius for instrumentation which places Malipiero second only to Strawinsky in thisdepartment of contemporary musie. The remainder of his works include «Cinq Mélodies» (1914-16: Marguerite, Mo-réas, Charles Cross): (1) Chanson Morave, (2) Les Yeux couleur du Temps, (3) Pégase, (4) Ariette, (5) L'Archet; «Armenia» (folksongs treated symphonically for orchestra; 1917); and «Keepsake» (tender and subtle settings of three intimate and delicately conceived poems, «Light», «Song» and «Stream», by G. Jean-Aubry).

It is not a large list, but the quality of the matter comprising it renders il important, quite apart from the fact that certain items represent the inception of a new type of stage music. For a personality such as Malipiero, - vigorous in expression, but thoughtful, unhampered by any stereotyped convention yet with an acutely sensitive feeling for constructive unity and significant form - is of the utmost value to a racial type of music debased by charlatanism, sloth and inhibitive tradition. Nor does Malipierols significance remain restrictedly national. Far from it. His imagination and constructive intelligenee have resources. And beneath all this is a spontaneous energy and sympathetic humanity which, despite the complexity of Malipierols mind, can express itself in the simplest terms. Nor is his keen colour-sense always primitive in expression: it has at times the ethereal quality of rare atmospheres. (See Ex. 2).

Because of this vitality and spontaneity, it deserves the consideration even of those to whom, it does not appeal. I myself commenced to study it with a certain antipathy resultant on a performance of one of his orchestral works. Once given such consideration it reveals itself not only as a very characteristic development of a branch of modern art but also as the intimate expression of a sensitive personality gifted with a combination of imaginative thought, practical executive capable of following enthusiastically

The paths of the planets
And the minds of men
And the white moon salling overhead.
[Da Musical Opinion, di Londra, settembre 1920; anche in Cat. op.]