Milano: F. Lucca [PNs 897-915], . Oblong folio. Full burgundy cloth with decorative blindstamping and floral gilt device to upper, titling gilt to spine. 1f. (recto title, verso blank), 5-258 pp. Each number with separate caption title and pagination. Engraved.
From the collection of Italian conductor, vocal coach, and close associate of Puccini and Mascagni, Luigi Ricci (1893-1981).
Binding somewhat worn, rubbed and bumped; spine faded. Scattered light foxing throughout, mostly contained to margins; moderate to title page and a few interior leaves.
First edition, later issue, without Pacini imprint to title. Inzaghi IN. 46, p. 163. Bergamo catalog, p. 130.
Torquato Tasso was composed to a libretto by Jacopo Ferretti primarily after Giovanni Rosini’s Torquato Tasso (1832). It premiered at the Teatro Valle in Rome on September 9, 1833.
"Donizetti was drawn to the subject because of Tasso’s connections with his native Bergamo. Unfortunately, Tasso is compromised by the semiseria genre, here involving an odd deployment of vocal types: tenor rival, buffo villain and baritone hero. Tasso’s moving death scene, written for Giorgio Ronconi and a favourite with baritones of the Battistini ilk, survived more hardily than the rest of the opera. Recent revivals have revealed Donizetti’s effective treatment of the figures of Tasso and Eleonora d’Este, but the viability of this work has yet to be established ...
Ferretti’s libretto contains a number of quotations from Tasso’s texts as well as some allusions to them. Eleonora’s expressive sortita, ‘Io l’udia nei suoi bei carmi’, and her duet with the poet that follows, ‘Colei Sofronia’, are notable passages. The finest music in the score, however, comes in the last act with Tasso’s Larghetto, ‘Perché dell’aure in sen’, leading into a touching dialogue with chorus; this culminates in a mournful cantabile to form the lyric section of the tempo di mezzo, and is followed by an elegiac cabaletta in C major. As in Anna Bolena, Donizetti here expanded the structure of the aria-finale to fill out an entire scene." William Ashbrook in Grove Music Online.
Ricci was an important figure in the transmission of 19th century traditions passed on to him by noted baritone Antonio Cotogni (1831-1918), whom he accompanied from the age of 12. He was active as a vocal coach at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, where he taught (amongst many others) Sesto Bruscantini, Anna Moffo, Rosalind Elias, Ezio Flagello, Peter Lindroos, and Martti Wallén. Item #31246
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