This week's installment of the Consonant Classical Challenge features Italian composer Daniele Zanettovich. Zanettovich is well-regarded as a composer, conductor, and an arranger. I would characterize Zanettovich's musical style as Italian post-romantic. His original music has strong lyrical, melodies that just seem to sing. His use of harmony is fairly conservative, although his orchestrations owe more to the 1990's than the 1950's.
The Weiner Fantasie is a work based on the music of Johann Strauss II. Although the melodies are quite familiar, Zanettovich skillfully weaves them together in to a cohesive work that, like the Danube, seems to flow from one big tune to the next in a seamless fashion.
Zanettovich'a opera "Marco Polo" in one sense seems a continuation of Puccini's "Turandot." Like Puccini, Zanettovich uses pentatonic patterns to create a sense of the exotic Orient. Unlike Puccini, Zanettovich uses the device subtly. First and foremost is the melody, which is generally tonal, but never trite as these two excerpts demonstrate.
The Flute Concerto "Casanovo" shows Zanettovich's skill in painting a sonic portrait. The music has a playful element to it (as befitting the subject), and is structured to emulate the classical style of Cassanova's era (without slavishly reproducing it). And the music's so tuneful and sunny I think even Jonathan Bastian would be charmed.
Surprisingly, there are no recordings of Daniele Zanettovich available in the United States, either as physical media or digital downloads. I'm not sure why that is. Commercial recordings have been made, obviously. Here's a composer that deserves an audience -- and audiences would find much to like this music, I believe.