Gordigiani, Luigi


Sometimes called the Italian Schubert, and famous as a composer of Tuscan popular songs. Was born at Modena, and received his musical education during the intervals of traveling and singing with his father, taking a few lessons, first in one city and then in another. His natural talent was strong, however, and before he was twenty he had composed several cantatas. After his father's death he supported himself for a time by his piano pieces, written under the pseudonyms of Zenner and von Furstenburger. Later he produced several operas in various Florentine theatres, and wrote also an oratorio and a ballet. His reputation rests on his musical setting of Tuscan folk-songs, and his canzonnette for voice and piano, which are sentimental and often sad in tendency, and based on old Italian national airs. They number over three hundred and have been translated into many other languages. The best known, perhaps, of his songs, are duets for female voices. A lighter vein is apparent in his skilful parodies on operas, including Norma and Sonnambula.