- Licia Sirch, Aspetti dell'editoria musicale bresciana dopo il Concilio di Trento. Abstract.
- Lorenzo Mattei, Metastasio con il berretto frigio. Sui Veri amici repubblicani di Niccolò Zingarelli (Torino 1799). Abstract.
- Carmela Bongiovanni, Ancora sulle fonti della musica vocale da camera di Ferdinando Paër: appendice di integrazioni e correzioni. Abstract.
- Giuliano Castellani, Osservazioni sulle fonti della musica vocale da camera di Ferdinando Paër. Abstract.
- Chiara Cirilli, "Giovanna d’Arco" di Gaetano Rossi e Nicola Vaccaj: genesi e ricezione dell’opera, fonti testuali e musicali. Abstract.
- Oreste Palmiero, Un episodio di storia della tipografia musicale in Italia: il musicografo Ferretto. Abstract.
- Rosanna Peciccia, La Bibliografia on-line delle «Fonti Musicali Italiane». Abstract.
- Rassegna bibliografica 2001-2002, a cura di C. Bongiovanni.
Music publishing at Brescia after the Council of Trent
Music publishing initiatives at Brescia during the sixteenth century were short-lived (from 1579 to 1588, with some minor offshoots in the seventeenth century), but they were clearly symptomatic of a critical moment in the history of Italian music publishing at that time. In this paper the subject is examined with reference to historical and cultural conditions in Lombardy after the Council of Trent, bearing in mind present-day historical and musicological research trends which tend to view in a different light the steps taken by the Archbishop of Milan, Carlo Borromeo with regard to publishing houses in general and the production of church music in particular, each considered as formidable instruments (together with morality plays) for promoting sacred, spiritual and moral values and participation in the ideal project of the so-called Catholic Counter-Reformation.
The paper then analyses synthetically the production of music publishing in Milan before 1576, paying particular attention to the document 1-Mb, Musica B 39, a Milanese miscellany of spiritual lauds, in part manuscript and in part published at Milan in 1576, which clearly illustrates the different climate and 'renovated' role of music – that of delectare iuvando et docendo – but which, at the same time, marks a slack moment in Milanese music publishing, a moment which continued up to 1585. It was during these years of silence that the music publishing of Brescia had the opportunity to make a name for itself.
During this period, the Borromeo reform was in full swing with a massive production of books at Milan and Brescia, the last-named city being renowned for its typographical traditions and enjoying a favourable situation arising from economic and jurisdictional motives: in fact, forming part on the one hand of the ecclesiastical province of Milan and on the other of the Venetian domain, it had the advantage of both the rich commissions of Milan and the more liberal policy of the 'Serenissima'.
The three printers of music in Brescia (Vincenzo Sabbio, Tommaso Bozzola and Pietro Maria Marchetti, who formed a partnership in 1595 as the Compagnia editoriale bresciana) were members of the most established and successful families of local printers. It can be seen from analysis of the musical production (approximately 40 publications, excluding liturgical books) that the repertoire on the whole is religious and of authors who were either natives of Brescia or worked there; there are also reprints of 'famous' Brescian composers (Giovanni Contino and Teodoro Riccio) who brought prestige and more dependable 'profits'; among the more influential musicians figure Vincenzo Ruffo, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and Giovanni Matteo Asola, whose style was considered in perfect keeping with the precepts of the Council and the directives of Borromeo on church music; in addition there were some editions realized on commission for Milan and Cremona booksellers.
Further more profound reasons for the rise of the Brescia phenomenon are to be found in the letters prefacing the editions, which show that the initiative of printing music was originally taken by some local musicians (Placido Falconio, Costanzo Antegnati and Germano Pallavicino) who imported the characters used in printing music from Venice, conscious of the importance of printed music as a means of diffusion of a music that was held to be a medium of spirituality. To handle the many commissions and sales, the best-equipped local printing-house made available its facilities and means of distribution, also thanks to the greater liberty which the city in those years enjoyed in comparison to Milan.
In the context of the historical development of music publishing in Lombardy, and in Italy in general, after the Council, the role of the Brescia publishing houses can be defined as originating from those local musicians and composers belonging to the first post-Council generation, in whose work the first results of the Borromeo reform are already evident.
A list of sixteenth-century music editions is given in appendix to this paper.
Metastasio with the Phrygian cap. On «I veri amici repubblicani» of Niccolò Zingarelli (Turin 1799)]
The accidental discovery, in the library of the «L. Cherubini» Conservatory, of the score (incomplete) of Zingarelli's Veri amici repubblicani has made it possible to examine the setting to music of a poetic text involved with revolutionary ideals and frequently quoted by scholars as an example of the 'transformism' to which the themes of serious opera were subjected in the period between Ancien régime and Revolution. As far as the stylistic layout of the libretto is concerned, it can be observed how the changed textual content still follows the Metastasian model which was congenial to rendering homage to both the French army and the forces of the Restoration. The music too does not respond to the stimulus of a text crammed with apologies of Jacobin and libertarian ideals with the adoption of stylistic features characteristic of revolutionary music; on the contrary, it remains centred on the abstract belcanto feature (employing the voices of two castratos for the male protagonists) and on the quest for a more sophisticated relationship between voice and orchestral accompaniment. The facile melodizing of Zingarelli becomes truly expressive by settling on the well-proven forms congenial to the traditionalist audiences of Turin.
Since nearly all the music of the serious operas explicitly composed in homage to the Revolutionary troops is not to be found, I veri amici repubblicani assumes considerable importance: the opera represents the tessera of a mosaic illustrating a clear 'divorce' between the 'revolutionary' contents of the librettos and their realization in music.
More information on the sources of Ferdinando Paër's vocal chamber music: an appendix of integration and correction
New musical sources, discovered in several important European libraries and pertaining to the immense production of vocal chamber music by Ferdinando Paër (1771-1839), contribute to affirming the importance of Paër above all in the field of composition of brief romances. It is in fact the production (in French) of the period of his permanence at Paris which is given a contribution of significance by this inventory. On the other hand, if the surviving published musical sources give the exact measure of the mass of compositions which the composer from Parma undertook at Paris, a scrutiny of the daily French newspapers of the first thirty years of the nineteenth century (extremely difficult owing to the multitude of pages to be examined) serves to show how many of the vocal compositions of Paër remain unknown (or at least have to be elucidated in relation to the surviving musical sources) and how many versions similar short pieces may have incurred as far as instrumentation and performance practice are concerned.
An example is given by the following notice in the «Journal de l'Empire» of 12 April 1812, announcing the programme of a concert at the Conservatoire Impérial de Musique in Paris: the various compositions (a medley of authors and vocal and instrumental genres typical of the period) include a «Polonaise de M. Paer, chanté par M. [Louis Antoine Éléonore] Ponchard, avec accompagnement obligé de violoncello exécuté par M. (Louis) Norblin». There is no record – up to now – in musical sources of a vocal polonaise by Paër with cello obbligato (there are indeed two polonaises, but not with that instrumentation – the theatrical works are naturally excluded); this testimony further increases our knowledge of Paër's vocal compositions. Other data, always gathered from French dailies, contribute to give a more precise chronology of the editions of already known pieces: for instance, O notte soave, serenata a quattro voci con accompagnamento d'arpa o Piano-forte, corno, violoncello e Contro-Basso. The Paris, Imbault [1807-1811] edition, already indicated in the previous inventory, can be given a positive dating of 1811 in the light of two notices in the «Journal de l'Empire» of 9 July and 9 August 1811. Indeed, the second notice also specifies that the author of the verses of the composition is M. Moline. An interesting point in these two notices is the significant variation in the title compared to the known musical sources: harp and piano are not interchangeable (as indicated on the frontispiece of the edition) but are included side by side in the instrumentation.
Comments on the sources of Ferdinando Paër's vocal chamber music and cantatas
This paper originated as a brief appendix to Carmela Bongiovanni's ample catalogue of the sources (printed and manuscript) of Ferdinando Paër's vocal chamber music which was included in the 2001 and 2003 numbers of «Fonti Musicali Italiane». First of all, various direct affirmations are cited on Paër's Parisian activities as composer of vocal chamber music, singer and maître de chapelle; during the Twenties and Thirties of the nineteenth century in fact the leading music periodicals of Paris, together with several important critics and musicians (such as Castil-Blaze and Jean-Georges Kastner), already indicated Paër as one of the major exponents of the French romance. Paër, however, was not only a composer but also an excellent performer of vocal chamber music: there are numerous descriptions of his performances at the Imperial Court, where he accompanied his bass-baritone voice at the piano singing the most amusing pieces from the comic repertoire for the entertainment of Napoleon. In addition, he was one of the most prestigious teachers of singing in Paris: this is even further proved by the publication of his important didactic works, such as xxiv Exercices pour voix de soprano ou de ténor and Trente-six vocalises pour voix de basse-taille ou baryton; by the names of some of the singers who trained or specialized with him – Giuditta Pasta, Joséphine de Méric, Francilla Pixis; finally, by his nomination in September 1831 as «Inspecteur de l'instruction et du chant» at the Conservatory of the French capital. Subsequently, the integrations and additions to the catalogue of sources compiled by Bongiovanni are presented: a preliminary scrutiny of musical sources carried out at various archives and libraries in fact permits the descriptions to be completed of, for example, the romances entitled La confession and Le refus; it has also been possible to determine with precision the period of composition and publication of the romance La première déclaration, and even to reconstruct the circumstances underlying the birth of the piece; again, new documents are of assistance in gauging the exact date of the first performance of the cantata Diana ed Endimione; in the case of Saffo, instead, it is an unpublished letter from Paër himself which suggests the possible dating of the cantata; finally, the music comes to light of two hitherto unknown Paer cantatas: La famiglia filarmonica and Ulisse e Penelope.
«Giovanna d'Arco» by Gaetano Rossi and Nicola Vaccaj: origin and reception of the opera, sources of text and music
The paper offers a contribution to the standing of two significant figures in Italian music theatre of the early nineteenth century, the composer Nicola Vaccaj (Tolentino, 1790 – Pesaro, 1848) and the librettist Gaetano Rossi (Verona, 1774 – 1855), through the study of the romantic opera Giovanna d'Arco.
Thanks to documentation to be found in the Biblioteca Filelfica of Tolentino (Macerata) relative to the years 1826-28, it has been possible to reconstruct the events connected to the drafting of the libretto, to the performances of the opera – in particular, the first performance at Teatro La Fenice, Venice in 1827 and its revival at Teatro San Carlo, Naples in 1828 – and to its reception by public and critics. From correspondence between Rossi and Vaccaj it is possible to retrace the various stages through which the composition of the libretto passed: from the first version – inspired by the French tragedy of C.J. Loeuillard d'Avrigny, Jeanne d'Arc à Rouen, which was refused by the composer – to the second and final version – inspired by the tragedy of F. Schiller, La pulzella d'Orléans. The letters containing the two scenarios are given in full in the Appendix.
The correspondence between Nicola Vaccaj and his Venetian friend Girolamo Viezzoli adds to the information available on the drafting of the libretto and reconstructs in detail the ups and downs relative to the Neapolitan production of the opera in 1828. The musical sources so far available, both manuscript and printed, are then examined: an autograph and two copies, six printed excerpts and two librettos. Analysis and comparison of the musical sources and librettos evidences how the opera underwent substantial changes on the occasion of the Neapolitan production of 1828 – entire scenes cut, massive modifications to the vocal cast, introduction of the happy ending – changes imposed by the impresario Barbaja and by the regulations of the Teatro San Carlo, and unwillingly carried out by the composer. The lack of direct musical sources on the third and last performance of Giovanna d'Arco at Palermo's Teatro Carolino in 1830 debars an in-depth analysis of the nature of the production; it can however be assumed, from a review of the time, that the opera proposed at the Carolino contained elements from both first and second versions.
An episode in the history of music printing in Italy: Ferretto's «musicografo»
The paper proposes to bring to light the innovative but unfortunate attempt of Andrea Ferretto (Barbarano Vic., 1864 – ibidem, 1942), a musician from Vicenza, who at the beginning of the last century designed a specific machine for writing music in an attempt to solve an age-old problem that had already baffled several generations of enthusiastic inventors.
The «musicografo» – as he called the ingenious device, apparently similar to an ordinary typewriter – was able, in addition to reproducing on the stave with great clarity notes, eventual text and a variety of graphic signs, also to transpose directly a piece of music in any key – thus simplifying considerably the work of the copyist.
Exhibited with success on various occasions, the machine – thanks above all to the simplicity of use and to the proven manageability – received favourable notices also beyond the national frontiers, as can also be seen in the wealth of technical reviews attached to this paper. Nevertheless, notwithstanding the unflagging efforts of its creator and the unconditional support of the Fascist governmental authorities, the «musicografo» did not succeed in catching on – due perhaps to persistent stonewalling by the publishing world – and so ended its days lying abandoned in the workshop of its unfortunate inventor.
The on-line bibliography of «Fonti Musicali Italiane»
Bibliographic research has always been the starting point for all types of investigation, carried out with scientific criteria. The recent development of Internet has in point of fact opened up new prospects for the bibliographic discipline which today can avail itself of tools for an always more accurate and sophisticated research. The convergence between information technology and humanistic disciplines, already underway in the past, now tends towards the processing and presentation of structured data and the coding of texts in electronic version. The more significant developments of research in this direction include the markup languages conceived and developed for the structured presentation of all types of document.
The paper starts with a brief survey of the markup languages, from the original version SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) up to the recent XML (Extensible Markup Language) and above all to their application in the area of text processing systems. Analysis of the technical characteristics of the language evidences its potentiality in various areas of research, including the processing of bibliographic lists. Thanks to a target programme, XML makes it possible to codify in electronic version any type whatsoever of bibliography and subsequently to publish it on Internet together with the mentioned interrogation procedures.
In this way, the choice of XML as a 'translation' code of the Rassegne Bibliografiche edited by «Fonti Musicali Italiane» is placed in an explicit setting, as well as the following detailed description of the entire project. The fundamental logic underlying the project Bibliografia delle Fonti Musicali Italiane on-line is that of creating a tool which is at the same time intuitively structured and sufficiently descriptive. The various stages, first of the programming and subsequently of the realization, verification and research, are described in the course of this paper and are completed with examples which illustrate, in order, the original references in paper form, parts of the edited XML code and results of polling the Rassegne on the web site of the Società Italiana di Musicologia.