Menotti's "neo-Rossinian" short comic opera The Telephone was first performed in 1947. This recording comes from a revival at La Scala
in 1991. The Old Maid and the Thief was an opera Menotti wrote for radio in 1939. A theme from the opera inspired this 1953 composition rooted in Italian Renaissance organ style. The seven Canti della Lontananza, or "Songs of Absence," were written in 1967 and dedicated to Elisabeth Schwarzkopf.
Gian Carlo Menotti (b. 1911), an Italian-American who has dared to center his career on writing operas, won the Pulitzer Prize for Music among other awards. Unashamedly conservative in technique, Menotti has always written in a traditional tonal language.
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