The piano music by Francesco Paolo Frontini
Francesco Paolo Frontini (1860 – 1939) wrote more than 200 piano pieces between 1875 and 1939. These were little character pieces, salon music, which were intended to be played at home by the bourgeoisie of that time. Pieces such as Sérénade Arabe or Petit Montagnard were often part of the standard repertoire of young pianists of the time.
Francesco Paolo Frontini was a child of his time, of the Opera Verismo tradition and the popular Sicilian song. Not all of his pieces achieved a high level of musical quality, but they were still accepted as pleasant salon music of his time. In addition, the context of Italian patriotism before and during World War I favoured his acceptance. But many of his works are pearls of profound beauty and are important examples of romantic music.
The beginning of the 20th Century marks a period of music transformation with Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps (1913), the Vienna school of Schönberg, the opera Wozzek by Alban Berg (1921), but it was also the time of Puccini, Mascagni and Leoncavallo. Francesco Paolo followed the romantic tradition of Italia Opera with Malia, first performed in 1893 in Bologna, and in six other operas, which are examples of his composing style.
In his last years, Francesco Paolo Frontini wrote only music for piano. However, his works, although sometimes technically challenging, are not classical piano music: many of his piano works were arranged for piano and voice and also for orchestra. Francesco Paolo never wrote a sonata or a piece longer than a few minutes. His music is a translation of the voice to the piano, as songs without words.
The picture dedicated to my father 1936