Messa da Requiem. [Manuscript]. Michele FUSCO.
Messa da Requiem. [Manuscript]
Messa da Requiem. [Manuscript]

Messa da Requiem. [Manuscript]

del celebre Maestro Napoletano Michele Fusco

[ca. 1820-1840].

Oblong quarto (220 x 288 mm). Contemporary half vellum with marbled boards, decorative label with titling in manuscript to upper. Notated in black ink on 14-stave wove paper. Endpapers and title on laid paper with watermark of a star with letters "FAS" below. 1f. (title), 70 ff. Scored for TTB choir and orchestra.

With signature to verso of final leaf: "Serafino [?]Patignani d'Ancona ..." followed by date [?1929] and place.

Note in contemporary manuscript (in another hand) to recto of rear free endpaper: "Questa Messa fu cantata per la prima volta il giorno 14. Gennaio 1839. in circostanza della morte, cagionata da nefritide, del su Sr. Francesco Zini accaduta li S. suddetto - "

Binding worn, rubbed, and scuffed; front free endpaper lacking. Lower half of title neatly excised. Lightly thumbed; scattered foxing.

No other source located for this work.

There is virtually no information in English on composer and harpsichordist Michele Fusco, and even in Italian sources he is barely mentioned. He was raised and educated in Naples, and then appears in Sardinia, where he directed the cappella civica in Cagliari from 1788 to 1804. In 1809, he became maestro al cembalo at the Theatre in Modena, a position he held the rest of his life. None of his works appears to have been published. Manuscripts are held at the Sassari Duomo and the Biblioteca Estense in Modena.

A Requiem by Fusco is documented by Valdrighi ("composed in the last days of his life") in Cronistoria dei teatri di Moderna dal 1539 al 1871 (Modena, 1873), as well as by Pougin in his supplement to Fétis, v.1, p. 353 ("very beautiful and which we still hear today with pleasure"). It is not clear, however, whether either of these comments refer to the present work. A Requiem is held in Sassari, but is not the same work based on the catalog incipit.

Given that, according to the note, the work was not premiered until 1839, it is possibly the work that Valdrighi mentions as being composed shortly before Fusco died. No further evidence is available, and we have been unable to identify the Francesco Zini mentioned.

A long-forgotten composer and work deserving of further study.

Item #33382

Price: $600.00  other currencies

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