Music in Fascist Italy

A study of music, composers and performers under Mussolini's rule


Harvey Sachs


Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1987
Music in Fascist ItalyMusic in Fascist ItalyMusic in Fascist Italy

Printing Details

First edition, first printing. Hardback in dustwrapper. 24 × 16cm, 271pp.

Under Mussolini, unions were suppressed, trains ran on time, Italy attacked Ethiopia and most Italian artists kowtowed to the dictator, not least of all composers, conductors, singers and writers on music. In this useful and interesting survey, Sachs looks at Italian operas, concerts, conservatories, composers and performers under fascism and shows how they gave in to Mussolini's subtle pressures of patronage and official praise. Among them, composers Casella, Malipiero, Mascagni, Pizzetti and Respighi; singers Gigli, Lauri Volpi and dal Monte; conductors Gui and Molinari and cellist Mainardi. Here too are stories of apolitical musicians like de Sabata and Klemperer, who went on working without questioning events; the few like Toscanini, Dallapiccola and Tita Ruffo who fought fascism or were contemptuous of it; foreign musicians like Paderewski and Stravinsky who acclaimed Mussolini; and also Bartok, who was probably the most anti-fascist of the major non-Italian composers; and Castelnuovo-Tedesco, who had to leave Italy when anti-Semitic edicts were instituted in 1939.


This copy is in very good condition.





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