Tag: Giuseppe Verdi (page 2 of 3)

In the Digital Scores Collection: Verdi Vocal Scores and Libretti

As we near our goal of digitizing the Music Library’s collection of first editions and notable variants of Giuseppe Verdi’s operas, these vocal scores and libretti have been added to the digital scores collection:

  • Giovanna d’Arco: dramma lirico in quattro parti da rappresentarsi nel regio Teatro il carnovale del 1845-46, alla presenza delle LL. SS. RR. MM. Torino: Tipografia dei fratelli Favale, [1845].
    Merritt Room Mus 577.322.11

    An early edition of the libretto, published with two ballet scenarios by Luigi Astolfi: Alma, ossia, La figlia del fuoco and Il consiglio di Recluta.

  • Il finto Stanislao: melodramma giocoso in due atti / de Felice Romani; posto in musica dal maestro Giuseppe Verdi; riduzione per canto con accompagnamento di pianoforte dei L. Truzzi, A. Rajneri e C. Dominiceti. Milano: G. Ricordi, [1846].
    Mus 857.1.605.5
    Hopkinson 38B(a)

    The first complete edition of the vocal score. After one performance at La Scala in 1840, with the title Un Giorno di Regno, Il Finto Stanislao was next produced in 1845 in Venice.

  • Attila : dramma lirico in tre atti con prologo / poesia di T. Solera ; musica di Gius. Verdi ; canto con accompto. di piano forte. [1st ed.]. Milano : F. Lucca, [1846].
    Mus 857.1.616.5
    Hopkinson, 45A(a)

    The first complete edition of the first version, premiered at La Fenice in 1846.

  • L’assedio di Arlem: tragedia lirica in quattro atti / posta in musica del maestro Giuseppe Verdi; riduzione per canto con accomp. di pianoforte di E. Muzio. Milano: G. Ricordi, [1850].
    Mus 857.1.621.5
    Hopkinson, 50A A(b) 

    The confusing production and publication history of L’Assedio di Arlem/La Battaglia di Legnano reveals some of the changes that could be made to accommodate the political climates of different cities (and the demands of censors). When premiered in 1849 in Rome – as La Battaglia di Legnano – this patriotic opera was set in 1176 during the struggles of the Lombard League against Frederick Barbarossa and the Holy Roman Empire. In the aftermath of failed revolutions against the Austrian Empire, however, such an obviously nationalistic subject was viewed with suspicion: while this variant of the first complete edition, published in Austrian-governed Milan, preserves the original music, it moves the action of the work instead to 16th-century Haarlem, during the Eighty Years’ War between the Dutch provinces and the Spanish Habsburg Empire.1

  • Rigoletto : melodramma di F.M. Piave ; musica del maestro G. Verdi ; riduzioni per canto con accomp. di pfte. di Luigi Truzzi. Milano : G. Ricordi, [1852].
    Merritt Room Mus 857.1.559 

    A variant of the first complete edition, not listed in Hopkinson.

  • Un ballo in maschera : melodramma tragico in tre atti / musica di G. Verdi ; riduzione per canto e pianoforte di Luigi ed Alessandro Truzzi. Milan : Ricordi, [1860].
    Merritt Room Mus 857.1.678.7 PHI 

    An early edition of the vocal score, not listed in Hopkinson.

  • Simon Boccanegra : melodramma in un prologo e tre atti / di F. M. Piave ; musica di G. Verdi. Milano : R. Stabilimento Ricordi, [1881].
    Merritt Room Mus 689.630.360.9 PHI 

    The first edition of the revised version of the libretto, from the La Scala staging of 1880-1881.


1. For more information about the composition and publication of L’Assedio di Arlem, see Cecil Hopkinson, A Bibliography of the Works of Giuseppe Verdi, 1813-1901 (New York: Broude Brothers, 1973-1978) and Roger Parker, “La Battaglia di Legnano“, in The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, ed. Stanley Sadie, Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online (access restricted to Harvard affiliates).

– Kerry Masteller

Verdi at La Scala and Beyond: Newly Digitized Scores

Our project to digitize first and early editions of Verdi continues apace, with works selected from two of the library’s special collections of 18th and 19th century scores, the Packard Humanities Institute Collection and the Ruth Neils and John M. Ward Collection of Opera Scores. These five operas have been recently added to our collection of Digital Scores and Libretti:

Erminia Frezzolini / Charles Vogt (1855)
Erminia Frezzolini / Charles Vogt (1855)
Image courtesy
Bibliothèque nationale de France

  • I Lombardi alla prima crociata: dramma lirico in quattro atti di Temistocle Solera; riduzione per canto con accompagnamento di pianoforte dei maestri L. Truzzi e P. Tonassi. Milano, G. Ricordi [1843?]. Merritt Mus 857.1.690.5 PHI

    Hopkinson 40A(a): though not dated, this first complete edition was probably printed in June of 1843. The hugely successful I Lombardi premiered at La Scala on February 11, 1843, with Erminia Frezzolini in the prima donna role of Giselda.

  • Ernani: dramma lirico in quattro parti di Francesco Maria Piave; posto in musica da Giuseppe Verdi; riduzione per canto con accompagnamento di pianoforte del maestro L. Truzzi. Milano: Tito di Gio. Ricordi, [1844]. Mus 857.1.504.5

    Hopkinson 41A(c): a variant of the first complete edition, advertised for publication by Ricordi in August of 1844. The first of Verdi’s operas to premiere at a house other than La Scala, Ernani opened at La Fenice on March 9th, 1844.

  • I due Foscari: melodramma lirico di Francesco Maria Piave; posto in musica da Giuseppe Verdi; riduzione per canto con accompagnamento di pianoforte di L. Truzzi. Milano: Dall’I. R. Stabilimento nazionale privilegiato di Giovanni Ricordi, [1845]. Merritt Mus 857.1.536.3 PHI

    Hopkinson 42B(a): the first complete edition of the opera, premiered November 3, 1844, at the Teatro Argentina. Censors rejected Verdi’s original proposal for his first Roman premiere, an opera on the life of Lorenzino de Medici. He substituted instead I due Foscari, with a libretto by Piave based on Byron’s The Two Foscari, a subject which itself had been turned down by La Fenice, in part for its unflattering portrayal of the Venetian Republic.

Giuseppe Verdi. Title page, Giovanna d'Arco. Mus 857.1.540.5
Giuseppe Verdi. Title page, Giovanna d’Arco. Mus 857.1.540.5

  • Giovanna d’Arco: dramma lirico di Temistocle Solera; posto in musica dal maestro cav. Giuseppe Verdi; riduzione par canto con accompagnamento di pianoforte; completa. Milano: Tito di Gio. Ricordi, [1846?]. Mus 857.1.540.5

    Hopkinson 43A(c): The last of Verdi’s five operas composed for Milan’s La Scala, premiered February 15, 1845. A variant of the first complete edition.

  • Il corsaro: melodramma tragico di F.M. Piave; musica di Giuseppe Verdi; riduzione per canto con accompto. di piano forte di E. Muzio. Milano: F. Lucca; Londra: Addison e Hodson, [1848?]. Mus 857.1.464

    Hopkinson 49A(e), a variant of the first complete edition. Disputes over the rights to Giovanna d’Arco led Verdi to avoid productions at La Scala for over twenty years, and to publish his next three operas with Lucca, rather than Ricordi. Il Corsaro, which premiered at the Teatro Grande in Trieste on October 25, 1848, was the last work Verdi wrote while under contract to Lucca, and by all accounts it was not a success. One life-and-works article published in 1856, after several revivals, calls the opera “a solemn failure” (Giuseppe Verdi, The Musical World, 34:84 (Nov 29, 1856), p. 758).

For further reference, see:

Hopkinson, Cecil. A Bibliography of the Works of Giuseppe Verdi, 1813-1901. New York: Broude Brothers, 1973-1978.

Loewenberg, Alfred. Annals of Opera, 1597-1940. 3rd ed. Totowa, N.J.: Rowman and Littlefield, 1978.

-Kerry Masteller

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