Author Topic: Ernest Fanelli (1860-1917) and 'The Romance of the Mummy'  (Read 2864 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Does anyone else know this extraordinary work (The Romance of the Mummy 1882-1883), which is so far ahead of its time? George Antheil described Fanelli as 'one of the greatest inventors and musical iconoclasts of our time' - others described him as the pre-cursor of impressionism in music. Certainly the third part of Part 1 of the 'Tableaux Symphoniques' 'Thebes' 'Rentree triomphale du Pharaon' seems to anticipate the Appian Way episode from Respighi's Pines of Rome written many years later - it is a very exciting and extraordinarily modern sounding piece that I strongly recommend:



"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline jimmosk

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Re: Ernest Fanelli (1860-1917) and 'The Romance of the Mummy'
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2009, 03:23:51 PM »
I know it, though I'm afraid I can't say I like it terribly much.  It's certainly interesting for its anticipation of many techniques we associate with Debussy and Ravel (Fanelli was a percussionist -- they're always writing stuff whose Time Has Not Yet Come :^) ...but I put him with with Hans Rott, who anticipated Mahler's characteristic sound but simply wasn't as talented a composer, to my ears anyway.  Fanelli's name should certainly be known, but the 50-minute "Romance of the Mummy" only interests me about 30% of the time; the rest of the piece just makes me think of a '50s film score -- the MusicWeb review http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2002/Nov02/Fanelli_marcopolo.htm in fact specifically talks about the music's resemblance to Bernard Hermann.

-J
Jim Moskowitz / The Unknown Composers Page / http://kith.org/jimmosk
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"On the whole, I think the whole musical world is oblivious of all the bitterness, resentment, iconoclasm, and denunciation that lies behind my music." --Percy Grainger(!)

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Ernest Fanelli (1860-1917) and 'The Romance of the Mummy'
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2009, 03:25:28 PM »
On your recommendation, Jeffrey, I have ordered the cd :)

Postcript: And now I have cancelled the order because-believe it or not-on belatedly checked my database I do have the cd already ::) I shall listen to it again ;D In the meantime....don't tell Christo ;D After admonishing him for not having a cd database I am looking exceptionally silly for not even checking mine :-[
« Last Edit: June 21, 2009, 03:34:39 PM by Dundonnell »

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Ernest Fanelli (1860-1917) and 'The Romance of the Mummy'
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2009, 01:48:36 AM »
On your recommendation, Jeffrey, I have ordered the cd :)

Postcript: And now I have cancelled the order because-believe it or not-on belatedly checked my database I do have the cd already ::) I shall listen to it again ;D In the meantime....don't tell Christo ;D After admonishing him for not having a cd database I am looking exceptionally silly for not even checking mine :-[

Hilarious posting Colin - made me laugh out loud. But don't worry about Christo - your secret is safe with me  :-X
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Ernest Fanelli (1860-1917) and 'The Romance of the Mummy'
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2009, 01:49:36 AM »
I know it, though I'm afraid I can't say I like it terribly much.  It's certainly interesting for its anticipation of many techniques we associate with Debussy and Ravel (Fanelli was a percussionist -- they're always writing stuff whose Time Has Not Yet Come :^) ...but I put him with with Hans Rott, who anticipated Mahler's characteristic sound but simply wasn't as talented a composer, to my ears anyway.  Fanelli's name should certainly be known, but the 50-minute "Romance of the Mummy" only interests me about 30% of the time; the rest of the piece just makes me think of a '50s film score -- the MusicWeb review http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2002/Nov02/Fanelli_marcopolo.htm in fact specifically talks about the music's resemblance to Bernard Hermann.

-J

Thank you very much for the response and the link.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Est.1965

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Re: Ernest Fanelli (1860-1917) and 'The Romance of the Mummy'
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2010, 12:57:33 PM »
Quote
...but I put him with with Hans Rott, who anticipated Mahler's characteristic sound but simply wasn't as talented a composer, to my ears anyway...

 :(
Well jimmosk, Rott did not anticipate anything, it was he who created that soundworld BEFORE Mahler.  As for the 'talented composer' bit, there is not a large enough body of work available to contrast with Mahler to say he wasn't as talented.  Mahler knew Rott was talented, perhaps more so than he, and in fact positively admired him.
 :D
However, your grouping of Fanelli in the same breath as Rott has made me interested to find out more, so that's another composer new to me that I'll have to look up.
Dear Hans Rott
In the 1980s there was a creative punk group called "Big Audio Dynamite".  I have decided to apply the term to you, my man.  And I still haven't properly finished your Screenplay yet.  Too bad.  Take care anyway old chum, I'm off to listen to Brahms!
Kind regards, John