- Dinko Fabris – Paolo Peretti, Nuove fonti marchigiane in intavolatura per strumenti a corde pizzicate (secc. XVI-XVII), pp. 7-17. Abstract.
- Teresa Chirico, Uno sconosciuto libretto della Dirindina di Girolamo Gigli, pp. 19-29. Abstract.
- Giuseppina Mascari, Il «Corriere delle dame». Spoglio e indici delle notizie musicali (1804-1818), pp. 31-126. Abstract.
- Rosy Moffa, Le composizioni per voce e pianoforte nei fondi manoscritti del Conservatorio «Giuseppe Verdi» di Torino, pp. 127-236. Abstract.
- Rassegna bibliografica, a cura di Carmela Bongiovanni, pp. 237-315.
Dinko Fabris – Paolo Peretti
New sources from the Marches of tablatures for plucked string instruments – XVI and XVII centuries
The paper presents two rare new sources of instrumental music discovered in the Marches, a region which in the past few years has been the seat of extremely important archival-musical finds, from manuscript fragments of ars nova music between the xiv and xv centuries to parts of a hitherto unknown musical work printed by Ottaviano Petrucci. In this particular instance, the new sources are two manuscript tablatures for plucked instruments, more precisly: A) a tablature for lute in the book of a Jesi notary for the years 1531-1533, preserved in the State Archive of Ancona, an exceptionally interesting discovery since it represents one of the oldest manuscripts of its kind identified to date; B) a fragmentary tablature for Spanish guitar, datable around the middle of the xvii century, traced on the parchment cover boards of an older printed legal volume and preserved in the 'Mozzi Borgetti' Municipal Library of Macerata.
After arranging the new finds in a suitable relationship with the intabulated sources already known today and existing in the Marches, or at one time connected with the region (from the well-known codex «cordiforme» of the Pesaro Biblioteca Oliveriana to the scattered fragments for lute attributable to the painter Gerardo Cibo of Cingoli; from the two manuscripts of the Municipal Library of Jesi, formerly belonging to the local noble family Planetti, to the collection for Spanish guitar in the private library of the Counts Olivieri-Onofri at San Ginesio), the two new sources are described in detail and discussed critically.
These two manuscript tablatures, separated from one another by nearly a century, indicate that many similar forms of musical notation must have existed during this period in a region like the Marches where literary and iconographical sources abound, demonstrating a widespread diffusion of the instruments in question, perhaps greater than any other area of Italy with the exception of capital cities like Venice, Florence, Rome and Naples.
An unknown libretto of «La Dirindina»
Girolamo Gigli's La Dirindina, set to music by Domenico Scarlatti, was composed for production in 1715 together with the opera Ambleto but its first performance was blocked by the censorship; this prohibition did not however prevent the farce from subsequently becoming always more popular, as can be seen from the numerous versions available today. A recently discovered manuscript libretto preserved at Spoleto can be considered one of the original sources in the history of this text, as evidenced also by the title (Dirindina farsa per gl'intermedi dell'Ambleto) which indicates a still existing link between the intermezzi in question and the serious opera for which the text of Gigli was written. In addition, some linguistic overtones brings it close in particular to the Tuscan idiom, a fact which would confirm an affinity to the matrix text of the opera. The presence of several unicum variations would seem also to suggest the existence of an original version of the text from which some verses were subsequently erased or modified, never to re-appear in later versions.
The manuscript is part of a fondo formerly belonging to an aristocratic family of Spoleto, the Counts di Campello, even though the origin of many manuscripts (mostly anonymous) in this collection, which includes La Dirindina, is Roman. Some members of the di Campello family lived in Rome for many years and were intimates of Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni; many works in the fondo in fact belonged to the richly endowed library of the cardinal, even if it is not yet clear how (and when) the manuscripts appeared in the library of the Counts di Campello.
Other works of Gigli are to be found in the same fondo: for instance, Il leone di Giuda ovvero Il Gioas and la Giuditta; the same hand that wrote the farce appears in other musical texts.
The presence of La Dirindina in this fondo demonstrates yet again the curiosity aroused by this short opera at its time and the fact that its diffusion was clearly prior to the first performance.
The «Corriere delle Dame». Scrutiny and indexes of musical information (1804-1818)
The «Corriere delle Dame» first appeared in 1804, in Milan, as a periodical featuring articles on «the literature, theatre and fashions of France and Italy», and continued to be published without any interruption up to July 1875 – that is, spanning almost the whole nineteenth century. Given the long life of the publication, it was necessary to limit the initial phase of research to the analysis of the musical news items published in the first fifteen years (1804-1818), the period during which the «Corriere delle Dame» was founded, directed and (to a great extent) written by Carolina Arienti, the wife of Giuseppe Lattanzi.
During these years the periodical, which came out every Saturday, had eight pages and a fairly invariable layout with regard to articles and features: the first four pages were devoted to stories and poems, letters, moral aphorisms, brief medical notes, observations on various subjects; ample space was also reserved for theatrical criticism: the feature «Theatres» (almost always present) occupied the fifth and sixth pages, followed by that of «Fashion» and «The Political Thermometer». From 1812, the first pages were dedicated to reviewing theatrical performances.
For the first two years the articles on music were limited to reviews of the performances given in Milan theatres, but already in June 1806 an excerpt from a letter from Trieste was published containing some observations on Niccolò Giuliani's opera Armiro e Daura which had been given there. After a time, these occasional reports on performances in other cities became more frequent (either extracts from letters or articles picked up from other newspapers). The articles on music contained in the weekly magazine during the period under consideration are not usually signed, but many details give us the impression that they were written by Carolina Lattanzi herself who frequently, in reviewing Milan performances, refers to the criticisms carried by the other two periodicals of the city, the «Giornale Italiano» and the «Corriere Milanese», underlining her desire to give in the pages of her paper her own impartial judgement. Analysis of the musical articles appearing in the «Corriere delle Dame» during the period 1804-1818 is consequently extremely enlightening, since it gives us a contemporary picture of the first twenty years of the nineteenth century: in addition to information on performers, singers and ballet dancers we frequently find many observations on librettos and librettists as well as notices on the music, the composers and the scene designers.
The work of sorting out the musical information has been completed by three appendices, which represent a highly useful research tool. Appendix 1 includes the Spoglio delle notizie musicali contenute nel «Corriere delle Dame» negli anni 1804-1818: that is, the selection of some of the more significant articles on music appearing in the periodical. Appendix 2 - Catalogo cronologico delle notizie - lists in chronological order all the numbers of the «Corriere delle Dame» which contain news of musical interest. Appendix 3 instead contains three indexes: a) Indice dei nomi, b) Indice delle opere e dei balli, c) Indice dei luoghi teatrali giving, respectively, names, titles of operas and ballets, and theatres which appear in the musical notices of the «Corriere delle Dame». The indexes refer to all the musical notices which appeared between 1804 and 1818 and not just to those quoted in the initial selection.
Compositions for voice and piano in the manuscript fondi of the 'Giuseppe Verdi' Conservatory of Turin
The library of the 'Giuseppe Verdi' Conservatory of Turin possesses more than 4000 manuscripts, partly distributed in several historical fondi that go back to the second half of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth (Fondo Savoia, Fondo Margaria, in addition to the manuscripts already in the possession of the Liceo Musicale) and in most cases acquired after 1935 (the year when the institute became a conservatory) through legacies and donations from Piedmontese composers and their heirs. It was decided to start by examining and cataloguing the compositions for voice and piano: a genre which, since it is often linked/associated with private soirées and always with poetic production, reflects more explicitly than any other genre the cultural milieu in which it originates.
As the introduction points out, the period of the compositions taken into consideration covers more than a century, from the second half of the nineteenth century (Luigi Felice Rossi and Stefano Tempia, in addition to the non-Piedmontese composers Filippo Troisi, Filippo Marchetti and Edoardo Vera, all included in the Fondo Savoia) up to the second post-war period (Carlo Mosso). The greater part of the manuscripts, however, can be collocated between the beginning of the twentieth century and the Fifties. Gaetano Foschini, Giovanni Bolzoni, Enrico Contessa, Federico Collino are the most important names of the early twentieth century, without however forgetting Leone Sinigaglia: not only the lyrics of his younger years set to Italian, French and German texts have been taken into consideration, but also the autographs of published collections of old popular songs of Piedmont. Among others, the following stand out in the period between the two wars: Ettore Desderi, Luigi Perrachio, Giulio Cesare Gedda, figures who played an important role in general in the cultural life of Turin and in whose works a significant evolution of the harmonic language (in a moderately modern sense) can be found. Of the same time is Giorgio Federico Ghedini whose fondo of manuscript lyrics is one of the most important, with over a hundred autographs, including also unpublished and unknown compositions.
A section has been added to the introduction with brief biographies of Piedmontese composers and bibliographical cross-references.
The second part of the work contains 548 entries relative to single compositions or collections, arranged by author and title, with textual incipits, datings and other information gathered from the manuscripts.