Giuseppe Martucci (1856-1909)
Vocal Chamber Music
“La Canzone dei ricordi”, in its historical period, is a unique composition, in its way, in the panorama of the nineteenth century Italian music. Stylistically nothing compares to it, except some works by transalpine musicians, but its typically national lyrical essence elevates with authoritative dignity over the decadent and diffusely provincial production we find in the chamber music towards the end of our XIX century. Even though the first lyric for song and piano, called “Romanza”, composed at the age of only sixteen, can be considered as a school work, the reviewer of the newspaper “Napoli musicale” writes: “the supporting accompaniment is also conforming to a studied style, but it well harmonizes with the cantabile phrase”. This romance, composed in Naples in 1872 and dedicated to the tenor Fraschini, who performed it accompanied by the author himself at the piano in May in the following year, wasn’t considered by Martucci as a composition entitled to be in the list of his official works. In fact the author doesn’t mention this juvenile work, as we can see in the autographical notes written for a list of his own creations. Fifteen years passed before Martucci realized the short poem for song and piano “La canzone dei ricordi”. Martucci’s close friendship with Rocco Pagliara, the author of the lyrics of his new vocal work had given him the occasion to choose the text. Two characters are closely connected to this work: the author of the lyrics, spiritually related to the musician and the singer Alice Barbi, to whom the short poem is dedicated.