I QUADERNI N°20, 2020




CLAUDE KNEPPER, Quatre lettres inédites de Charles Gay à Franz Liszt (1837-1838)

RETO MÜLLER, Rossini “Comprimario”


GREGORIO NARDI, Nuove ricerche e divagazioni su una lettera inedita di Jessie Laussot a Giuseppe Buonamici


MAURIZIO D’ALESSANDRO, Franz Liszt negli anni romani e nell’Albano dell’800, Florestano Edizioni, Bari, 2019 [Luciano Chiappari]

JOANNE CORMAC, Liszt and the Symphonic Poem, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2017 [Jonathan Kregor]

Franz Liszt, Sardanapalo. Atto Primo, edited by David Trippett, libretto reconstructed by Marco Beghelli, in collaboration with Francesca Vella and David Rosen, (New Liszt Edition / Neue Liszt Ausgabe, IX/2), Editio Musica, Budapest, 2019 [Rossana Dalmonte]


CLAUDE KNEPPER, Four unpublished letters by Charles Gay to Franz Liszt (1837-1838)

The Foundation Istituto Liszt holds in its manuscript collection four unpublished letters from Charles Gay to Franz Liszt. Apart from two other letters from Charles and a late short letter from Liszt held in private collections, this is all that has come down to us from their correspondence, even though their friendship, which began in the mid-1830s, continued until Liszt’s death in 1886. These letters, which are the first to be published, bear witness to a friendship that is not only artistic but also and above all spiritual. Their destinies somehow intersected as Franz Liszt, who longed to be a priest in his youth, embraced the career of a musician, while Charles Gay, who wanted to become a musician and composer, became a prominent prelate of the Roman Catholic Church.

RETO MÜLLER, Rossini “co-star” 

The Liszt Institution in Bologna possesses a substantial quantity of manuscripts not only from Liszt but also from musicians in his circle of acquaintances. Its stock comprises the nine letters by Gioachino Rossini dating from 1836 to 1865, which are presented here. In addition to their transcriptions, the contents of the mainly unpublished letters are analysed and annotated. This results in a wide range of characters and situations that Rossini dealt with during his long life. His well-known correspondence with his Sicilian friend and trustee Filippo Santocanale is complemented by two more letters. Details about Louise Carlier, to whom Rossini dedicated a legendary music album, can be amended thanks to letters written to Antoine Carlier and Édouard Bénazet. An appointment arranged with an unidentified B. Galeotti allows for specifying details of Rossini’s ‘flight’ from Bologna to Florence. Rossini the ‘banker’ is discussed on the basis of a loan to Cesare Aldrovandini for the benefit of Józef Joachim Grabiński. The cancellation of an appointment due to fever and headache addressed to an unspecified Cervini leads to comments on Rossini’s venereal disease. A letter of recommendation for the pianist Paule Gayrard to Julius Benedict enables us to date the piece Au chevet d’un mourant from Péchés de vieillesse and to identify the singing ‘girl’ and the dying man. An invitation for a meal of macaroni and music-making augments the number of well-known letters to the cellist Gaetano Braga.

GREGORIO NARDI, New research and vagaries on an unpublished letter from Jessie Laussot to Giuseppe Buonamici

The Istituto Liszt has recently acquired a letter written by Jessie Laussot to Giuseppe Buonamici, her pupil and friend. Many personalities from the Italian musical world are mentioned, who had not been studied in depth until now: Buonamici’s father, Dr. Enrico, an important chemist; Jessie’s piano pupils; the musicians Guido Papini and Giulio Roberti; Count Pio Resse and his wife Elizabeth Phelps; Arthur Matthews and his wife Augusta Leighton; Ann Christie Taylor, Jessie’s mother. The article aims to clarify the events and relationships between these people, determine the dates, and verify the compositions named in the letter. The result is a more detailed picture of Jessie and her acquaintances. Finally, the author proposes a hypothesis: one of the reasons that led Jessie to settle in Florence in 1860 was the presence of her cousin, Emily Southwood Smith, also a fervent Mazzinian.