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Alfredo Catalani (19 June 1854 – 7 August 1893) was an Italian operatic composer. He is best remembered for his operas Loreley (1890) and La Wally (1892). La Wally was composed for a libretto by Luigi Illica, and features Catalani's most famous aria "Ebben? Ne andrò lontana." His other operas were less successful, partly hampered by inferior libretti.


Catalani was born in Luccamarker and trained at the Conservatory of Milan under Antonio Bazzini.

Despite the growing influence of the verismo style of opera during the 1880s Catalani chose to compose in a more traditional manner. As a result his operas have largely lost their place in the modern repertoire, even compared to those of Massenet and Puccini, whose style his works most closely resemble.

The influence of Amilcare Ponchielli can also be recognized in Catalani's work. Like Ponchielli, Catalani's reputation now rests almost entirely on one work. La Wally continues to enjoy occasional revivals in much the same way as Ponchielli's La Gioconda.

In 1893, upon his premature death from tuberculosis in Milan, Catalani was interred in the Cimitero Monumentalemarker, where Ponchielli and conductor Arturo Toscanini also lie. Toscanini was a strong advocate of Catalani's music and named his daughter Wally in recognition of the composer's most successful opera.

Operas

  • La falce ("The Sickle"), Milan, 19 July 1875
  • Elda, Turin, 31 January 1880 (radically revised as Loreley)
  • Dejanice, Milan, 17 March 1883
  • Edmea, Milan, 27 February 1886
  • Loreley, Turin, 16 February 1890
  • La Wally, Milan, 20 January 1892


Symphonic works

  • Sinfonia a piena orchestra ("Symphony for Full Orchestra"), 1872
  • Il Mattino, sinfonia romantica ("Morning", Romantic symphony), 1874
  • Ero e Leandro, poema sinfonico ("Hera and Leander", Symphonic tone poem), Milan, 9 May 1885


External links

Further reading

  • Berrong, Richard M. (editor and translator). The Politics of Opera in Turn-Of-The-Century Italy: As Seen Through the Letters of Alfredo Catalani. 1992. (Studies in the History and Interpretation of Music)



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