Mussolini musicista (1927) – full text

In line with a short article I am currently writing in response to this new article claiming that Puccini’s ‘Nessum dorma’, currently played at many of Donald Trump’s political rallies, has strong fascist associations, I thought I would post the complete text (now out of copyright) of Raffaello de Rensis’s 1927 publication Mussolini musicista (Mussolini the musician), a propagandistic pamphlet which describes the dictator’s musical tastes, including for village bands and the sounds of nature, not to mention grandiose symphonies and triumphal marches, as well as his experience of playing the violin. He loved Palestrina, Monteverdi, Frescobaldi, Galuppi, Corelli, Vivaldi, Bach, Beethoven (above all), Granados and Fauré.

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5 Comments on “Mussolini musicista (1927) – full text”

  1. Alistair Hinton says:

    Dear Ian,

    Thank you for this.

    Interesting as it is insofar as it goes, I fear that almost any music, provided that it had managed to attain sufficient “popularity”, could be pressed into some kind of service by those of cynical manipulatory persuasion given sufficient determination on their part to force it to fit their agendas; perhaps one could argue – just for once – that the opera Turandot by Busoni (who died earlier in the same year as his compatriot Puccini) never gathered around itself such general public approbation, otherwise something from this might likewise have become tainted by whomsoever chose to do so.

    Had Mussolini’s musical tastes genuinely embraced all those Italian composers from the 18th century and earlier as well as Bach, Beethoven, Granados and Fauré – in addition to Puccini – I somehow doubt that those of Mr Donald DuckTrump would be any match for them and he might well be too dense in any case to misappropriate any music for what he perceived to be his own ends; either way, I’m pretty certain that such “tastes” would exclude Revueltas and Chávez as well as Hétu and Vivier and possibly also encourage him to deport Marc-André Hamelin given less half the chance even before getting Mexicans and Canadians to erect hard borders at their own expense between their own nations and the land of the free!

    As Shaw wrote, “Hell is full of musical amateurs: music is the brandy of the damned” – yet apparently Donald the Delightful would have us believe that Mrs Clinton is “the devil” and I’m not sure that she’s a brandy imbiber.

    “The Trump; it shall sound”; hopefully, though, for not much longer and, since his penchant for digging holes large enough for him to fall into with all of his considerable fortune is already irking Republican supporters on his native turf in no small measure, his days as leader of that party will be numbered. Not for nothing have I read somewhere the view that the perpetrators of 9/11 targeted the wrong towers…

    All best,

    Alistair

  2. […] sympathy for Mussolini soon after the 1922 March on Rome is clearly documented, as is the fact that he met the dictator at least once before the composer’s death in November 1924. He also reluctantly accepted honorary Fascist Party […]

  3. […] sympathy for Mussolini soon after the 1922 March on Rome is clearly documented, as is the fact that he met the dictator at least once before the composer’s death in November 1924. He also reluctantly accepted honorary Fascist Party […]

  4. […] sympathy for Mussolini soon after the 1922 March on Rome is clearly documented, as is the fact that he met the dictator at least once before the composer’s death in November 1924. He also reluctantly accepted honorary Fascist […]

  5. […] Mussolini musicista (1927) – full text (3/8/16) […]


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