Canzoni da battello per flauto
The library of Zavičajni Muzej Poreštine in Poreč, Croatia, preserves a small collection of musical manuscripts dating from the mid-eighteenth century. The manuscripts are part of the legacy donated to the city of Poreč by count Stefano Carli in 1813. Carli lived mostly in Koper (Capodistria); his brother was the Istrian economist and historiographer Gian Rinaldo, author of the musical treatise Osservazioni sulla musica antica e moderna inspired by Giuseppe Tartini. The collection includes a large volume of opera arias, many sonatas for harpsichord, trios for two violins and cello by Domenico Gallo, anonymous cantatas, and three little books of music for recorder. The recorder was a popular musical instrument in Venice during the first decades of the eighteenth century, but its use quickly decreased after 1730c. It was nevertheless used for didactic purposes by noble amateurs until the end of the century. The three books for recorder contain dances, sonatas and duets without basso continuo and transcriptions of about thirty canzoni da battello. The pieces are generally short and easy to play; difficult keys, high notes and ornamental passages are avoided. Other manuscripts in Venice (Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Museo Correr, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana) are related to this repertoire, preserving recorder transcriptions of operatic arias, songs and dances. All the songs were transposed for alto recorder. Most of them retain just the titles of the original compositions but, in a few, the entire text appears under the music. Concordances regard other Venetian manuscripts and the collections of Venetian ballads printed by John Walsh (1742-1748); there are also some unica. A Minueto di Faustina is the transformation of a canzone da battello copied in vocal score (with a text in Venetian dialect and an instrumental bass) in another manuscript of the same Poreč collection. The canzone itself is the reduction of an aria in Metastasio’s Olimpiade, sung by Faustina Bordoni in the 1738 production at the S. Giovanni Grisostomo theatre, Venice. Though, on this occasion, most of the music was by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, this particular aria is by Bordoni’s husband, Johann Adolf Hasse. The Querini Stampalia library preserves a fragmentary transcription of the same aria for alto recorder. Another piece related to the Venetian barcarola repertoire is Tasso o sia aria della notte (in ms. 3376 of the Poreč collection). This is an example of the Aria del Tasso alla veneziana, a tune employed in singing octaves of Tasso’s Gerusalemme liberata. The melody (devoid of text) is copied twice, first as a recorder solo, then as a duo without bass (with addition of a simple second voice); it is similar to Tartini’s Sonata XII, preserved in the Archive of the Basilica Antoniana, Padua.