Vittorio Rieti

Biography

Born: January 28, 1898; Alexandria, Egypt   Died: February 19, 1994; New York, NY  
Although an Italian native, composer Vittorio Rieti was born in Alexandria, Egypt; his early music studies were taken as secondary to a course in economics at the University of Milan, where Rieti earned his diploma in 1917. Conscripted for a short time into the Italian army during World War I, he resumed his music studies with Alfredo Casella after the war and composed his first works in an experimental, near atonal style. His work gained the Read more attention of Arnold Schoenberg, who frequently programmed them at ISCM concerts and helped Rieti win a publishing contract with Universal Edition. However, by the time he joined the staff of Sergei Diaghilev's Ballet Russes in Paris in 1925, Rieti had shifted to a more neo-classical vein in the manner of Stravinsky, who became his close friend. Rieti enjoyed a high profile in the years leading up to the Second World War, but its outbreak caused him to flee to the United States in 1940.

Once in the U.S., Rieti picked up right where he left off, writing ballets for George Balanchine and having his works performed by major conductors and orchestras. Unlike Stravinsky, however, Rieti's music began to experience an eclipse starting in the 1950s. Just before that, Rieti had begun to teach, first at Peabody and later in Chicago, concluding with professorships at Queens College and the New York College of Music. Rieti enjoyed a long retirement, and continued to compose right up until his death in 1994 at the age of 96.

Vittorio Rieti left an impressive body of work: seven operas, 11 symphonies, and 11 string quartets in addition to numerous ballets, chamber works, songs, piano pieces, and choral settings. In a stylistic sense, Rieti never wandered very far from the neo-classic sound he'd cultivated since 1925. Considerations of historical relevance aside, Rieti was a highly skillful composer with a great sense of concision and balance. In his American works, Rieti managed to bring an element of old-world charm into pieces that still successfully adopt some of the sass and bite typical to American concert music of the 1940s. His Second Avenue Waltzes (1942) beautifully evokes the feeling of being an immigrant in America, living in Hell's Kitchen, and perhaps the breeze lifting the curtain in a kitchen window. Read less
Browse 1-15 of 15 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    L'infinito / Caroline Helton, Kathryn Goodson
    Label: Equilibrium   Catalog: 123 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco,  Vittorio Rieti,  Leone Sinigaglia,  Guido Alberto Fano
    Performer:  Caroline Helton,  Kathryn Goodson
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  • 2.
    The Sternberg Collection, Vol. 2
    Label: Pierian   Catalog: 50 Release Date: 06/25/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Lee Hoiby,  Vittorio Rieti,  Gian C. Menotti
    Performer:  Lee Hoiby
    Conductor:  Jonathan Sternberg
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  • 3.
    20th Century Brass / New York Brass Quintet
    Label: Crystal   Catalog: 569 Release Date: 01/15/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vittorio Rieti,  Karl Pliss,  Edward J. Miller,  William Presser  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Brass Quintet
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  • 4.
    Homage To Paderewski / Plowright
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 67903 Release Date: 11/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Józef Wieniawski,  Ernest Schelling,  Béla Bartók,  Arthur Benjamin  ... 
    Performer:  Jonathan Plowright,  Aaron Shorr
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  • 5.
    Romantic Ballets
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 49849 Release Date: 05/17/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Vittorio Rieti,  Frédéric Chopin,  Erik Satie  ... 
    Performer:  Lilian Watson,  Delia Wallis,  Garrick Ohlsson
    Conductor:  André Previn,  Terence Kern,  Louis Frémaux,  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finchley Children's Music Group
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  • 6.
    A Festival Of Ballet
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 67063 Release Date: 01/26/2010   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Gustav Holst,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Barbara Hendricks,  Susan Bickley,  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson,  Catherine Pierard  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe,  André Previn,  Paavo Järvi,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 7.
    Jewels - Sampson, Lovelock, Rieti / American Brass Quintet
    Label: Summit Records   Catalog: 484 Release Date: 08/07/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  William Lovelock,  Clint Needham,  Osvaldo Lacerda,  Steven Sacco  ... 
    Performer:  Raymond Mase,  Kevin Cobb,  John Rojak,  Michael Powell  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  American Brass Quintet
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 8.
    Global Flutescape - Benker, Shen, Et Al / Jan Vinci, Et Al
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 947 Release Date: 07/17/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Heinz Benker,  Kazuo Fukushima,  Hsueh-Yung Shen,  Ralph Vaughan Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Hugh Sung,  Jan Vinci,  Mark Vinci,  Jennifer Higdon
    On sale! $19.98
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  • 9.
    Label: Etcetera Records   Catalog: 1061 Release Date: 10/01/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bohuslav Martinu,  Alexander Tcherepnin,  Alexandre Tansman,  Germaine Tailleferre  ... 
    Performer:  Bennett Lerner
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  • 10.
    Cage: Piano Works Vol 7 - Chess Pieces / Leng Tan
    Label: Mode   Catalog: 158 Release Date: 03/21/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Cage,  Vittorio Rieti
    Performer:  Margaret Leng Tan
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  • 11.
    Cage: Works For Piano 7 / Margaret Leng Tan
    Label: Mode   Catalog: 158 Release Date: 03/21/2006  
    Composer:  John Cage,  Vittorio Rieti
    Performer:  Margaret Leng Tan
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  • 12.
    The Flute Heard Around The World / Donald Peck, Et Al
    Label: Boston Records   Catalog: 1027 Release Date: 01/01/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Philippe Gaubert,  André Caplet,  Jacques Ibert,  Alec Wilder  ... 
    Performer:  Donald Peck,  Melody Lord,  James Ross
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  • 13.
    Bax: Nonet;  Lambert, Rieti / De Curtis, Feige, Et Al
    Label: Arts Music   Catalog: 47328 Release Date: 11/18/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vittorio Rieti,  Constant Lambert,  Arnold Bax
    Performer:  Carlo Feige,  Alessandro De Curtis
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Grazioli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonia Ensemble
    On sale! $11.98
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  • 14.
    Milhaud: Violin Sonata, Etc;  Rieti: Sonata Breve / Elmiger
    Label: Gall (Formerly Gallo)   Catalog: 585 Release Date: 08/18/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vittorio Rieti,  Darius Milhaud
    Performer:  Micheline Mitrani,  Roger Elmiger
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  • 15.
    Rieti: Serenata, Concerto For Clavicembalo, Partita
    Label: Composers Recordings, Inc. (Cri)   Catalog: 601 Release Date: 06/10/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vittorio Rieti
    Performer:  Janet Packer,  Sylvia Marlowe,  Harry Zaratzian,  Charles McCracken  ... 
    Conductor:  Melvin Strauss,  Samuel Baron
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Longy Artists Ensemble,  Chamber Orchestra
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