Recent studies regarding the first steps of the violoncello in North Italy at the end of the seventeenth century have been concentrating on the vast musical output collected by Francesco II, Duke of Modena, now held at the Biblioteca Estense Universitaria. Nonetheless, there is still a conspicuous number of anonymous manuscripts copied in Modena at the end of the seventeenth century containing opera arias which include several examples with obbligato violoncello. A connection has been made with one of these collections and a particular performance of L’Ercole Trionfante in Piacenza in 1688 with music by the composer and organist Bernardo Sabatini. This finding has revealed that it was not just virtuosi of the instrument such as Domenico Gabrielli who composed arias with obbligato violoncello and it has drawn attention to the Farnese court in Parma where Sabatini was Maestro di Cappella. Given the importance of this discovery, the article presents this source and sheds some light on the writing and function of the instrument in relation to other examples of this kind.
"Unearthing Forgotten Treasures: Anonymous Arias with Obbligato Violoncello at the Estense Library, Modena,"
Performance Practice Review:
1, Article 1.
Available at: http://scholarship.claremont.edu/ppr/vol18/iss1/1