She does not, however, do this consistently. . The f-holes have a peculiar appearance, mainly due to their large elongated wings. The complete texts are given with a few footnotes in one of the introductory sections, but since over half of them are strophic, those texts without the first stanza reappear following the music. I did find some wrong notes, which may have come from the original print, and should have been spotted and editorially corrected.
Pieces 19-25 are sacred: the madrigals È morto il tuo Signore Petracci and Care amorose piaghe Policreti are on texts from a publication of spiritual texts from 1608. The through-composed ones are remarkable for their internal variety. The label inside the violin reads : Raffaele- Antonio Gagliano, Quodam Giovanni Napoli, 1812. The wood of the front is a spruce with a straight grain. Giovanni was, above all, a consummate master of polyphony. This article was first published in the May 2011 issue of The Strad Watch: Simonide Braconi performs the Walton Viola Concerto on this Giovanni Gagliano viola.
It was for sale at the time by the owner for a lot of money due to its good condition. But demands to produce sacred music left him little time to devote to other books following his first and only book of Varie musiche. Indeed, this particular viola has a warm and powerful sound. Some instruments with inlaid decoration after the manner of Stradivari. When they started at the beginning of the 18th century Stradivari was hitting his peak and the Cremonese school had no rivals.
Most of his published output, mainly sacred, is lost. The poem gives coherence to the piece, while the music, always contrasting longer and shorter notes, upward and downward motifs, and differently shaped melismas, gives each of the 14 lines of poetry a distinct interpretation, employing typical madrigalisms with success. He was the grandson of Alessandro, son of Nicola and nephew of Gennaro. They worked together but many times their work differs in details. Gaglianos were an amazing makers. Of course in 1623 the Venetian Vincentis in this case Alessandro Vincenti, son of Giacomo type set with movable characters, assembling every letter and note, each block including a piece of staff, making beaming impossible.
He composed opera as well, and in collaboration with Francesca Caccini. From the beginning of 18th to the second half of the 19th century Neapolitan masters — the Gaglianos achieved a big success and produced a great number of violin violas and cellos to answer a constant demand for those instruments. The more we see accidentally or deliberately wrong syllabification in an otherwise excellent edition, the more confused we get about what is correct! She discusses the rhyme schemes and typologies of the 26 poetic texts set by Giovanni, in relation to his settings, 15 of which are strophic. Son of Nicola Gagliano, below. Each maker in the Gagliano family had his own style, and the character of the instruments coming out of the workshop evolved through the years in response to customer tastes and the changing market. The underlay is mostly correct, but sometimes not — which is odd for an Italian transcriber-editor. It was a very plain, dark looking violin without any flame in the wood.
As long as every user is cautiously suspicious about adopting editorial alterations, and reasons long and hard about every one, and other possible ones, then an editor has the right to serve the composer in this way. The head is probably in maple of local origin and has only a very light flame. But inevitably one jumps to conclusions, or sees analogous passages which are not so, or anticipates the anticipations perhaps forgetting an imitation , and so on. Very characteristic feature of Raffaele and Antonio Gagliano scrolls is the arrangement of the pegs in the pegbox. This duplication could really have been avoided by printing the complete text for each piece, along with its sparse annotations, immediately after each musical setting, and nowhere else. Even though justified by the shortness of many pieces, a normal format for music would have allowed many of the 26 pieces to fit on a single page instead of two, and with fewer pages the edition would be more practical.
Giovanni became maestro di cappella of the Compagnia itself, and later obtained similar posts in the most important churches of Florence and the Medici court. Together with Tu languisci e tu mori, o Giesù mio these express pain with chromatic effects largely absent from the previous pieces. This choice of inexpensive material is matched by the varnish, a lightly coloured, dry-looking golden layer that is very different from the fat, reddish varnish used some decades previously by Alessandro Gagliano. It was used in manuscripts, woodcuts and engravings, and is implicit in the conception of figured counterpoint. But as a whole, the Gaglianos — and as a consequence the Neapolitan school itself — always remained a reliable source of good instruments at reasonable prices. The head, with pegbox walls in a cello style, shows the typically quick working of the Gaglianos: the throat is quite deep, but in its shape it is still possible to see the resolute saw cut of the maker.
The two outer strings are separated from the inner two, sensibly allowing more space for the fingers to adjust them. In the first 66 pages of this first modern edition Maddalena Bonechi presents, in Italian only, the composer, the source, the poetry, her editorial criteria and a critical apparatus. Gagliano uses a generous number of continuo figures, which, to the credit of Bonechi, seem well placed here. Its medium width widens towards the flanks. It is a wonderful instrument in a great condition. He had close contact with secular vocal music from madrigals to monody accompanied by continuo, and to opera, and was active himself as a singer and theorbo player.
Additional label with religious dedication often found fixed to upper rib inner surface. It is clear that by 1800, customers in Italy were more interested in keenly priced instruments than those with luxury features, even if, as today, acoustical quality was highly prized. The fault may lie in computer setting, or a lack of proof-reading. I love the deep sound of the G string. Every such suggestion should trigger pondered evaluation. I have some minor complaints or criticisms which should, however, not deter anyone from gaining access to this music. To better understand the editorial criteria and problems of the transcription, at least one page of the music in facsimile should have been included.
I would have bought it if I had the money. It is owned by the Fondazione Pro Canale Onlus in Milan and is on loan to Simonide Braconi. He also knew poets of these forms personally. Located in Naples, they ran their successful shop for about 200 years. The small format 24 x 17cm makes it hard to keep such a fairly thick book open on a music stand. But in the following decades, and up to the second half of the 19th century, the Neapolitan masters enjoyed consistent success and produced a great number of instruments to answer a constant demand for new violins, violas and cellos.