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Amadino, Ricciardolocked

  • Thomas W. Bridges

(fl Venice, 1572–1621). Italian printer. In February 1572 he witnessed a codicil to the will of Girolamo Scotto, in which he is described as a printer, not a bookseller, suggesting that he may have worked in Scotto’s shop in Venice at the time. After a brief attempt in printing music on his own in 1579, he resumed as a partner of Giacomo Vincenti, with whom he printed, between 1583 and 1586, about 80 books. A few were reprints of popular volumes by Arcadelt, Lassus, Marenzio, Palestrina, and Bernardino Lupacchino and Gioan Maria Tasso, but most were first editions of works by some 33 composers, of whom the best known are Asola, Bassano, Caimo, Gioseffo Guami, Marenzio, Stivori and Virchi, as well as anthologies. For their printer’s mark Vincenti & Amadino used a woodcut of a pine-cone, with the motto ‘Aeque bonum atque tutum’. When they began to print separately (from 1586) Vincenti kept the pine-cone symbol, while Amadino adopted a woodcut of an organ, with the motto ‘Magis corde quam organo’. The dissolution of the partnership must have been amicable, for afterwards they seem to have shared type and ornamental pieces, and some of their editions have mistakes in common. Moreover, they printed together several theological and philosophical books between 1600 and 1609.

Working alone from 1586, Amadino printed vocal and instrumental music in such quantity as to assure him a position among Venice’s four leading music printers. His preferred composers were Asola (59 editions, including those with Vincenti), Gastoldi (43), Banchieri, Monteverdi and Agazzari. Asola, mentioned in one of the few dedications signed by Amadino, was probably a personal friend. Amadino also printed several theoretical volumes, including the first edition of Bottrigari’s Il desiderio (1594). Non-musical publications by him are not numerous; among them are two tragedies, Eutheria (1588) and Cratisiclea (1591), both by Paolo Bozzi, whose Canzonette (1591) and two surviving madrigal books (1587 and 1599) were printed by Amadino.

Amadino printed several folio editions and a few octavos, but otherwise his whole musical production was in upright quarto format (apparently gathered in half-sheets). This reflected the current trend, and indeed his whole musical production mirrors the shifting musical tastes of the time; he printed canzonettas and works for cori spezzati as they grew in popularity, along with falsobordoni, accompanied solos and duets (including those by Gastoldi, d’India and Rubini), dramatic music (e.g. Monteverdi’s Orfeo (see illustration) and Domenico Belli’s Orfeo dolente) and all types of concertato music. Many of his publications were commissioned, either by the composers or by other printer-booksellers, such as Tozzi in Padua, Bozzola in Brescia or Pietro Tini in Milan. But Amadino’s own preferences must account for his persistent loyalty to certain composers, such as Asola, Gastoldi, Banchieri and Monteverdi. Amadino deserves a place in the front rank of Italian music printers of his time for the sheer volume of his output and for his many first editions and reprints of leading composers’ works.

Opening of Orpheus’s ‘Possente spirto’ from Act 3 of Monteverdi’s ‘Orfeo’ (Venice: Amadino, 1615)

British Library, London


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Acta musicologica
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