SV: Romantic India

Lars Martin Fosse lmfosse at ONLINE.NO
Mon Nov 16 14:02:45 UTC 1998

Klaus Karttunen wrote:

reminded of our discussion about Indian inspiration in Western music,
I find it somewhat embarrassing to have to confess, that I recently
found some additional information in my own bookshelf. The book India
and Italy, edited by R.M.Cimino and F. Scialpi (Rome 1974), has a
small chapter (p. 180-182) on this theme. Here we learn that F.
Alfano (1876-1954) published also a revised version of his ZakuntalA
in 1944/45. Illustration 77 of the book gives the first page of
Alfano's manuscript, "lento e misterioso". Several Italian composers,
such as Alfano, Alfredo Casella, Ottorino Respighi et al. also
used Tagore's poems to compose songs.

I don't know it this has been mentioned, but Holst wrote a three-act opera called Sita before he wrote his Savitri. It was very much imbued with the Wagnerian spirit and on the grandest scale. Sita (1900-1906) won third prize in the Ricordi competition, but was never performed. Holst later abandoned the Wagnerian style, which may be one of the reasons why Sita was never performed. 

Lars Martin Fosse

Dr. art. Lars Martin Fosse
Haugerudvn. 76, Leil. 114,
0674 Oslo
Phone: +47 22 32 12 19
Fax:      +47 22 32 12 19
Email: lmfosse at

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