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Fonti Musicali Italiane

Fonti Musicali Italiane, 4 (1999)

Inserito in Fonti Musicali Italiane


  • Gian Giacomo Stiffoni, Per una biografia del compositore napoletano Nicola Conforto (Napoli 1718 - Madrid 1793): documenti d'archivio, libretti conservati nella Biblioteca Nacional di Madrid, fonti musicali manoscritte e a stampa. Abstract
  • Dascia Delpero, Il «Giornale enciclopedico di Milano» (1782-1797) e la «Gazzetta enciclopedica di Milano» (1780-1802): due nuove fonti per la storia della musica milanese. Abstract.
  • Luca Aversano, Il commercio di edizioni e manoscritti musicali tra Italia e Germania nel primo Ottocento (1800-1830). Abstract.
  • Giuseppina Mascari, Contributo ad un catalogo delle opere di Giovanni Pacini: melodrammi autografi e copie manoscritte conservati presso la Biblioteca Comunale di Pescia. Abstract.
  • Patricia B. Brauner, Le edizioni critiche di opera italiana dell'Ottocento: scopi, fonti, metodi e futuro. Abstract.
  • Maria Rita Coppotelli, Il fondo della Società teatrale internazionale (1908-1913) conservato presso l'Archivio storico capitolino di Roma. Abstract.
  • Roberto Leydi, Discografia della musica popolare italiana - Sicilia. Abstract.
  • Rassegna bibliografica: 1998, a cura di Carmela Bongiovanni con la collaborazione di Sonia Teramo.


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Gian Giacomo Stiffoni

For a biograpy of Nicola Conforto: archive documents, librettos stored in the National Library of Madrid, manuscript and printed musical sources

Among the many Neapolitan composers who, after an initial activity in Italy, worked abroad during the central years of the eighteenth century, Nicola Conforto (Naples 1718 - Madrid 1793) is probably one of the least studied despite his privileged position as court composer when he was living in Spain during the reigns of Ferdinand VI and Charles III.
Conforto's Italian period is characterized by the composition of works commissioned by various theatres of the peninsula, especially those of Naples, for which he wrote opere serie (for the San Carlo, Antigono in 1750 and Adriano in Siria in 1754) and Neapolitan "commedeja pe' mmuseca", the latter mostly performed at the Teatro dei Fiorentini. In 1755, he moved definitely to Spain on the insistence of Farinelli, at that time director of the royal music at the Bourbon court, where composed a few opere serie and serenades for the Buen Retiro and Aranajuez theatres up to 1759 when Charles III decreed the interruption of all performances. After that, and apart from two serenades written respectively in 1764 and 1765, Conforto dedicated himself almost exclusively to teaching music, above all to the Infantas of Spain and to Prince Don Gabriel.
Through a revision of known sources and after reexamining some of the data available to date, this paper traces, with the help of unpublished documents, a detailed biographical profile of the composer and a review of his works from the Neapolitan period to the last years of his residence at Madrid. The study includes three appendices. The first appendix contains transcriptions of the archival documents that are of particular interest with regard to the life of the composer. The second, instead, presents a catalogue of the librettos set to music by Conforto which are today in the Biblioteca Nacional of Madrid, a first attempt at bringing to public notice the highly interesting collection of Italian librettos available in that library. Finally, the third appendix contains a catalogue, as far as possible complete, of the manuscript and printed sources of the works of the Neapolitan composer.

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Dacia Delpero

The «Giornale enciclopedico di Milano» and the «Gazzetta enciclopedica» di Milano: two new sources for the history of music in Milan

The «Giornale enciclopedico di Milano» (edited by the Genoese priest Gaetano Morandi and published by the Pirola brothers twice-weekly, and three times a week from 1794-96), and the «Gazzetta enciclopedica di Milano» (published by Gaetano Motta once a week from 1780; twice a week from 1799 to 1802) are notable both for the wealth of musical news reported and for the fact of being two journalistic initiatives that are almost unknown, at least from the viewpoint of musicological research. Both periodicals contain a historical-political section (political news and local events) and a literary section. As far as musical events are concerned, the two publications give more space to reviews and criticisms of opera and ballet performances at the Scala and Canobbiana theatres of Milan and at the Teatro Arciducale of Monza. Plentiful information is also given on the singers (e.g. Luigi Marchesi), dancers and choreographic and scenographic elements; in one of the first numbers of the «Giornale», there is also a list of the orchestra members. Ample coverage is given as well to public concerts (such as the charity concerts held regularly in Lent for the benfit of the Pio Istituto Filarmonico), to private concerts (held at court, in the palaces of the nobility and in colleges), to the religious ceremonies with music which were held in the churches of Milan, especially on particular occasions (the funerals of Maria Theresa, of Joseph II and of Leopold II; weddings; Te Deum for victories of the Austrian armies, etc); to processions accompanied by music and to performances of oratorio. There are also regular reports in both periodicals on the activities of the two maestri who succeeded each other as choirmaster of Milan cathedral: Giuseppe Sarti and Carlo Monza. In addition to these news items, there are notices announcing the sale of instruments and musical editions, either produced by Milanese engravers or imported from abroad. Finally, both the «Giornale» and the «Gazzetta» give information on new books of musical interest, sometimes publishing reviews and extracts: for instance, the treatises of Bertezen, Pizzati and Vallotti, the historical texts of Mattei and Gervasoni, the critical essays of Arteaga and Manfredini.
All this information is discussed in the introduction to the paper, while the news items concerning music (with the exception of editorial and commercial announcements) are presented in detail in the appendices.

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Luca Aversano

The commerce of musical editions and manuscripts between Italy and Germany in the early nineteenth century

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, German music publishers pursued a policy of expansion abroad for the dual purpose of finding new commercial outlets and of acquiring items so far unavailable on the domestic market. During these early years there was in Italy a flourishing of enterprises active in the field of music and qualified for cooperating with foreign partners wishing to establish business relations. In this context, a regular and intensive commerce of musical editions and manuscripts developed between Germany and Italy. In this paper the author reconstructs the strategies and mechanisms of this trading, using as sources the correspondence of some of the leading German publishing houses (Breitkopf & Härtel, André, Simrock, Hoffmeister & Kühnel, Kühnel & Peters) and, on a minor scale, the announcements of Italian publishers in the press of that time. In the first part of the paper, the role of Leipzig is evidenced as the point of confluence of international commerce in music between Italy and North Europe and the activating processes and economic aspects of the business transactions are then analyzed following two fundamental models: a) trade “à condition”, in which the correspondent assumes responsibility for managing and selling a stock of musical items which remains the property of the wholesaler; b) trade on account of a retailer which foresees the sale of the goods to the correspondent with a high cash discount. The case is also examined of business relations based on the exchange of printed music or of other goods, including strings and instruments. In addition, the description is given of shipment methods, conveyance routes, type of goods traded and marketing techniques.
The second part of the paper deals with the activities and territorial distribution of Italian correspondents (mainly music publishers, music dealers and booksellers); Milan, Venice, Naples and Trieste (in that order) account for the major number of correspondents.
The results of the research show that the diffusion of German music in Italy during the early years of the nineteenth century is essentially a phenomenon of economic-commercial character, far more extensive and in-depth than was suggested by the research on public performances and their audiences. Finally, the discovery of the intensive trade of musical editions between Italy and Germany substantiates, for the first time in the history of the book trade, the existence of relations of a certain importance between the two geographical areas.

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Giuseppina Mascari

Contribution to a catalogue of Giovanni Pacini's works: autograph operas and manuscript copies stored at the Pescia Municipal Library

The largest collection of autographs, copies, sketches and outlines of operas by the composer Giovanni Pacini (1796-1867) is now to be found in the Municipal Library of Pescia. This material was presented to the Library in 1942 by Adele Fantozzi Pacini, widow of Giovanni Pacini great-grandson of the maestro. In this paper a first attempt has been made to catalogue the manuscripts of operatic music (autographs and copies of complete operas, instrumental and vocal parts of various operas, autograph sketches and outlines) kept at the Pescia Municipal Library; these documents form the more consistent part of the collection which in addition includes autographs and copies of instrumental and sacred music, printed music, librettos, correspondence between the composer and his family and friends. In presenting the material, efforts have been made to comply as far as possible with the present configuration of the collection. The forms, compiled according to RISM series A/II specifications, also contain an index of the contents of the scores and an ample wealth of notes. In addition, at the end of the four sections there is a general index and an index of the incipit quoted. Finally, attention is drawn to the fact that some sources are reported here for the first time while others, quoted incorrectly in some lexicons, have been rectified.

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Patricia B. Brauner

Critical editions of nineteenth-century Italian opera: the goals, the sources, the methods and the future

The critical editions of Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini, and Verdi share similar goals and methods adapted to the particular characteristics of the individual composer. This paper surveys the criteria of these four editions and the current state of publication, gives the locations of the surviving sources, and illustrates problems in using the sources for critical editions. Finally, it suggests some implications of information technology for the making of critical editions. While publication has been facilitated by the survival of the majority of the composers' autograph scores, their existence does not mean that editing them is uncomplicated: for example, a single work may have an array of sources, each with authority in its own arena—the original autograph; any autograph materials relating to revisions; contemporary copies; early printed editions and piano-vocal reductions. Scholars and editors frequently study the sources in photographic reproduction, although the critical editions have attempted, whenever possible, to ensure that editors work with the manuscripts themselves before publication. Casa Ricordi and the Fondazione Rossini have independently undertaken to photograph the autograph manuscripts held in their archives and to store them as computer images. These projects will reduce use of the autographs, thus preserving them from the stress of handling, while at the same time facilitating their study because of the essential interchangeability of the actual and virtual manuscripts.
The issues of diffusion of electronic images and text on the Internet and of the possibility of publishing critical editions in electronic format, with its potential to link text and image and to follow branching paths of investigation, need to be considered seriously by the committees for the critical editions. But even publication of high-resolution facsimiles (in print or electronically) cannot eliminate the need for critical editions, in which editors collate and evaluate the sources in the light of how compositional conditions and a composer's methods affected his autographs.

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Maria Rita Coppotelli

The fondo of the Società Teatrale Internazionale at the Capitoline Historic Archives

The Società Teatrale Italo-Argentina (S.T.I.A.) and the Società Teatrale Internazionale (S.T.In.) were founded respectively in 1907 and 1908 (the first at Buenos Aires and the second at Rome) on the initiative of two eminent organizers: the impresario Walter Mocchi and Count Enrico di San Martino e Valperga (at that time president of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia). The Capitoline Historic Archives of Rome houses a conspicuous collection of documents - unpublished and until now unknown - relative to the vicissitudes of the S.T.In. and of the S.T.I.A. during the period 1908-1913, which have enabled us to outline for the first time the history of these two companies and to obtain a detailed picture of the management of Italian theatres at the beginning of the twentieth century. The nineteen main folders - in course of being inventoried - contain, divided into hundreds of files and subfiles, letters written by key-personalities like Walter Mocchi, Enrico di San Martino, Enrico Polese and Pietro Mascagni, contracts stipulated with artists, agreements between S.T.I.A. and S.T.In. and between the latter and the Executive Committee for the festivities in 1911. The S.T.I.A. was founded by Mocchi for the purpose of organizing and managing the opera seasons of leading South American theatres, engaging companies from Italy prepared to tour overseas during the months in which Italian theatres were closed. In order to realize this ambitious objective in the best possible way, it was essential for the S.T.I.A. to gain control also of a good number of Italian theatres, which proved possible thanks to the creation of the S.T.In., a company that proceeded to acquire the Teatro Costanzi of Rome and take over the management of some of the major Italian theatres (Regio of Turin, Regio of Parma, Petruzzelli of Bari, Carlo Felice of Genoa, Politeama Adriano of Rome); the Conte di San Martino was nominated president of the S.T.In. Created as an Italian subsidiary of the S.T.I.A., the S.T.In. soon showed its wish to be autonomous: the company aimed at controlling the theatrical world of Rome and at organizing the grand season of 1911 in celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Unity of Italy. The diversity of aims and the many interests involved created strong disagreements and made the relations between the two companies very turbulent. The paper retraces these events, with particular reference to the seasons of the Teatro Costanzi in Rome (at that time directed by Mascagni), based not only on archival documentation but also on reportages in the Roman daily newspapers.

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Roberto Leydi

Discography of Italian popular music - Sicily

The fourth part of the classified reference list of Italian popular music is dedicated to Sicily; here, too, as in the previous parts, the list covers 33 rpm lp and cd, 45 rpm and ep and 78 rpm records.


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