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Abbiati, Francolocked

  • Carolyn Gianturco

(b Verdello, Sept 14, 1898; d Bergamo, Jan 22, 1981). Italian music critic. He took a diploma in composition at the Turin Conservatory (1929) and studied musicology with Cesari. His career as a critic was centred in Milan; after working on Secolo sera (1928–34), he succeeded Cesari at Corriere della sera, remaining there until his retirement (1973). In 1949 he founded the monthly journal La scala, which he edited until its closure in 1963; he was particularly interested in opera, especially its authentic performance. Abbiati also published a history of music in five volumes (1939–46), which he later updated and revised in four volumes (1967–8). This was well received, although (being the work of a single author) it was inevitably incomplete; the comments in the second edition on 20th-century composers, notably Italian composers of Abbiati’s own generation, are especially valuable as a contemporary response. His four-volume work on Verdi (1959) contains many letters and documents not previously published.


  • ed.: Gaetano Cesari: scritti inediti (Milan, 1937)
  • Storia della musica (Milan, 1939–46, 2/1967–8; abridged 1955, 2/1971)
  • Guida al Peter Grimes di Britten (Milan, 1947)
  • Giuseppe Verdi (Milan, 1959)
  • ‘Arrigo Boito “nimico di menzogna”’, L'opera italiana in musica: scritti e saggi in onore di Eugenio Gara (Milan, 1965), 141–7
  • Alti e bassi del Simon Boccanegra (Verona, 1973)


  • DBI (B.H. Antolini)
  • L. Bellingardi: ‘In memoriam’, NRMI, 15 (1981), 163–4
Dizionario biografico degli italiani (Rome, 1960-)
Nuova rivista musicale italiana