Alceo Toni

(b Lugo di Romagna, 22 May 1884; d Milan, 4 Dec 1969). Italian composer and writer on music. He studied at the Liceo Musicale, Bologna, under Torchi and Marco Bossi. From 1908 to 1910 he was director of the Liceo Musicale in Rovereto, from 1918 to 1921 he was technical director of D'Annunzio's Raccolta Nazionale delle Musiche Italiane and from 1936 to 1940 president of the Milan Conservatory. He was music critic on the Popolo d'Italia, the official Fascist party newspaper, between 1920 and 1943, and contributed to other nationalist journals; under fascism he was also secretary of the Milan musicians' union and, subsequently, a member of the national directorate of the Fascist union of musicians. After the war he was music critic for the Milan daily La Notte. He was a member of the Accademia di S Cecilia, and he prepared many editions of Italian music of the 16th and 17th centuries. A passionate supporter of the Fascist regime and of musical nationalism, Toni, whether as a composer of 'retrograde tastes and great pretensions' (Sachs), or as a critic, displayed a totally closed mind towards 20th-century musical developments. In 1932 he was one of the instigators of an anti-modernist manifesto directed against the receptiveness of Malipiero and Casella to such trends.

WORKS

(selective list)
Stage: Su un cavallin di legno (op), 1914; I fantocci ribelli (azione coreografica, 1, G. Rocca), 1930, Sanremo, 1933
Vocal: 3 salmi (F. Ciarlantini), 1v, chorus, 1933; 2 cantiche religiose, solo vv, chorus, orch, 1931; Messa funebre, 3 vv, org; songs for 1v, pf
Inst: 2 sonatine, str qt, 1929; Il cavaliere romantico, poema in forma d'ouverture, orch, 1932; Introduzione e Saltarello, 1937; Ov., orch, 1937; Quintetto elegiaco, pf, str, 1937; Sym., F, orch; Theme, Variations and Fugue, orch
Editions and transcrs. of works by, among others, Corelli, Locatelli, Monteverdi, Pergolesi, Vivaldi

WRITINGS

Studi critici d'interpretazione (Milan, 1925, 2/1955)
Strappate e violinate (Milan, 1931)
Bazzini (Milan, 1946)
V.M. Vanzo (Milan, 1946)
with T. Serafin: Stile, tradizione e convenzioni del melodramma italiano (Milan, 1958--64)
Numerous articles and essays

BIBLIOGRAPHY

SchmidlDS
F. Nicolodi: Musica e musicisti nel ventennio fascista (Fiesole, 1984), 463--7
R. Zanetti: La musica italiana nel Novecento (Busto Arsizio, 1985)
H. Sachs: Musica e regime (Milan, 1995), 36--40

ANTONIO TRUDU