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Leone Sinigaglia

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Compositions for: Piano

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12 Variations on a Theme by Franz Schubert, Op.192 Stücke, Op.162 Stücke, Op.283 Frauenchöre, Op.183 Romantische Stücke, Op.134 Feuilles d'album4 Kleine Stücke, Op.25Staccato-Etude, Op.11Violin Sonata, Op.44

Arrangements for: Piano

Am AltarDanze piemontesi, Op.31Piemonte, Op.36Rapsodia piemontese, Op.26Romanze, Op.29
Leone Sinigaglia (14 August 1868 – 16 May 1944) was an Italian composer and mountaineer.
Born in Turin into an upper-middle-class Jewish family, Sinigaglia studied music at the conservatory of music in Turin with Giovanni Bolzoni. Sinigaglia knew the leading figures of thought, arts and science that lived in the city at the time, such as Galileo Ferraris, Cesare Lombroso, and Leonardo Bistolfi. A lover of literature and mountaineering from an early age, the young Sinigaglia spent many holidays in or near Cavoretto, just outside the city, a place that would provide him with much inspiration. Among the works composed in these Turinese years are the Romanza opus 3 for horn and string quartet. (This has been recorded in an arrangement for horn and string orchestra.)
In 1888 Sinigaglia began to travel: after spells in several European cities, from 1894 he lived in Vienna, where he associated with Johannes Brahms from whom he developed a taste for so-called absolute music, studying with Eusebius Mandyczewski. In these years he wrote several Lieder and the Concerto for violin and orchestra, opus 20.
From 1900 he worked in Prague with Antonín Dvořák (whom he possibly met through his friendship with the Bohemian Quartet in Vienna). From Dvořák he learned the ability to apply classical techniques to the arrangement of popular songs.
His productivity diminished progressively in the following decades. Nazi police occupied Turin in 1944 and he was to be sent to Germany as slave laborer but suffered a fatal heart attack at the moment of his arrest.
In the ten years that followed his return to Turin in 1901, Sinigaglia transcribed an enormous amount of popular song from the oral tradition, largely collected on the hills of Cavoretto. Many of these were arranged for singer and pianoforte in a style that is reminiscent of the German songs of the late 19th century: they include a set of twelve Old popular songs of Piedmont (published initially in Leipzig by Breitkopf & Härtel, 1914; a third and fourth edition were published in 1921, and a fifth and sixth in 1927). As well as this collection, for which Sinigaglia's name is still remembered today, his other compositions of the same period show a deep love for the musical spirit of his native region, as for example in the two Piedmontese Dances opus 31 (1905) and the Suite for orchestra "Piemonte" (1909). Both of these are closely identified with the name of Arturo Toscanini, who performed them frequently.
It was not only ethnically-inspired works that resulted from these happy years: the overture to The Chiozzotte Quarrels (1907), as well as the Piedmontese works, were directed by conductors of the calibre of Wilhelm Furtwängler and John Barbirolli. Toscanini included the music in broadcast concerts by the NBC Symphony Orchestra. Among his chamber works that are still remembered are the two sonatas, opus 41 for cello and pianoforte, and opus 44 for violin and pianoforte.
Sinigaglia was a keen mountain climber in his youth, amassing an impressive catalogue of ascents in the Dolomites. He has been described as "the first great Italian climber in the Dolomites". Two of his most famous climbs were first ascents on Croda da Lago and Monte Cristallo. His book, Climbing reminiscences of the Dolomites, was published in English in 1898, shortly after the Italian edition, and is still regarded as a classic of climbing literature.
" Gianluca La Villa-Annalisa Lo Piccolo. "Leone Sinigaglia, la musica delle alte vette" ed. by Gabrielli editori, Verona, 2012
Letters by Leone Sinigaglia held by the State Archives in Leipzig, company archives of the Music Publishing House C.F.Peters (Leipzig).