(b Lucca, Italy, 1905; dMiddletown, CT, 7 March 1993). American composer, son of Alberto Franchetti. Following studies in physics at the University of Florence, he enrolled at the Salzburg Mozarteum where he was awarded its top distinction, the Lilli Lehmann prize, for his opera Bauci. Between 1937 and 1939 he lived in Munich where he came under the influence of Richard Strauss. After the war, during which he spent time in Sweden and the Italian Alps helping to rescue Allied airmen, he emigrated to the USA (1947). He taught at the Hartt School of Music, Hartford, Connecticut (1948–79), serving as chair of the theory and composition department until his retirement. His honours include awards from the Fromm, Guggenheim and Koussevitsky foundations and Columbia University’s Ditson award.
After exploring late-Romantic and neo-classical styles, Franchetti developed a non-serial, 12-note compositional language featuring primarily diatonic motivic material. With the appearance of Lendvai’s Bartók, Weg und Werk (Budapest, 1957), he adapted features of Lendvai’s axis system to what he referred to as ‘pandiatonicism’, a style prominent thereafter in both his music and his composition teaching. His highly idiosyncratic approach to form derived from the manipulation of melodic and rhythmic cells through repetition, intervallic expansion, transposition, or contrapuntal combination with contrasting fragments. This technique resulted in imaginative improvisatory writing (Canti, 1969; Saxophone Sonata, 1970) and pointillist, miniaturist textures (Concerto dell’ autunno, 1983). Striving for a synthesis of musical sophistication and accessibility, he also drew on Italianate folksong flourishes (Il Giglio Rosso), commedia dell’arte characters (Three Italian Masques) and literary texts by the black American revolutionary Eldridge Cleaver (Lazarus).
Ops: The Lion (children’s op, 2, R.H. Sanderson and M. Franchetti), New London, CT, 16 Dec 1950; The Princess (Tapestry) (1, M. Franchetti), Hartford, CT, 16 March 1952 [pt 1 of trilogy]; The Maypole (1, E.R. Mills), Westport, CT, 6 July 1952 [pt 2 of trilogy]; The Game of Cards (1, A. Franchetti), 1953, concert version, 20 March 1955, staged, Hartford, CT, 9 May 1956 [pt 3 of trilogy]; The Anachronism (1, Mills), Hartford, CT, 4 March 1956; The Dowser (1, Mills), 1956; Prelude and Fugue (1, C. Bax), Hartford, CT, 21 April 1959; Notturno in La (As a Conductor Dreams) (2, L. Berrone, after A. de Musset), Hartford, CT, 20 Oct 1966; The Suncatcher (1, B. Sargeant), Hartford, CT, 8 Feb 1973; Soap Op (comic op, 1, K. Lombardo), Hartford, CT, 1973; Married Men go to Hell (The Devil takes a Wife) (3, E. Willheim, after N. Machiavelli), 1975; Dracula (1, A. Franchetti), 1979
Inst: Canti, sax, wind, perc, 1969; Sax Sonata, e, 1970; Concerto dell’ autunno, wind, 1983; Il Giglio Rosso, movt, str qt; many orchestral and band works; much chbr music, incl. 6 str qts; 39 solo kbd works, incl. 12 pf sonatas; 3 works for solo perc
Vocal: c33 songs; 7 pieces for small vocal ens; 7 choral works
MSS in US-Hhc
B.Archibald: Review of ‘Three Italian Masques’, Notes, xxvii/1 (1970–71), 146–8
Franchi [de Franchi, de Franchis, de Franco], Carlo
(b ?1743; d ?after 1779). Italian composer. He is described as Neapolitan in printed librettos and his music certainly belongs to the Neapolitan school. His operas had their first performances in principal Italian cities (Rome, Venice, Turin and Naples) and in provincial cities with a strong operatic tradition (Perugia and Mantua). The intermezzo Il barone di Rocca Antica, first performed at the Teatro Valle, Rome, was later revived in Florence, Terni, Foligno, Lisbon, Ancona, Passavia, Venice and Dresden. This work marks a fundamental change in the development of Italian opera buffa before Rossini. Although it is subtitled ‘intermezzi per musica’, the work is far removed from the spirit of Pergolesi’s intermezzos: the sinfonia is in three parts, the arias are polished and elegant, and secco recitatives are shorter and propelled by lighter, more fluent rhythms.
at least 2 arias in G. Insanguine, La vedova capricciosa (commedia, G. Palomba), Naples, Nuovo, carn. 1765
Ifigenia in Aulide (V.A. Cigna-Santi), Rome, Argentina, 3 Feb 1766, F-Pn, I-Rvat (ov. and arias)
Arias in La clemenza di Tito, Rome, Argentina, 1766, aria Rc and Rrostirolla
Arsace (dramma, ? A. Salvi), Venice, S Benedetto, Jan 1768, P-La
La pittrice (int, F. Cerlone), Rome, Pace, carn. 1768
Il gran cidde Rodrigo (dramma, 3, G. Pizzi), Turin, Regio, 26 Dec 1768, I-Tf, P-La
La contadina fedele (int, 2), Rome, Valle, carn. 1769, I-Rdp
Il trionfo della costanza (opera semiseria, D’Oregno), Turin, Carignano, spr. 1769, aria Tf
Le astuzie di Rosina e Burlotto (dg), Perugia, Leon d’Oro, carn. 1770
Siroe re di Persia (dramma per musica, 3, P. Metastasio), Rome, Argentina, 13 Feb 1770, Rdp, Rvat, P-La
La pastorella incognita (commedia, P. Mililotti), Naples, Fiorentini, spr. 1770
Il barone di Rocca Antica [Act 1] (int, 2, G. Petrosellini), Rome, Valle, 4 Feb 1771, D-Dl, Rtt, F-Pn, I-Fc [Act 2 by P. Anfossi]; rev. Dresden, 1772 [some sources suggest the Rome version was entirely by Franchi]
La semplice (int, 2), Rome, Valle, 7 Jan 1772, F-Pn, I-Fc