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Mazzucato, Albertolocked

  • Andrea Lanza

(b Udine, July 28, 1813; d Milan, Dec 31, 1877). Italian composer, conductor and singing teacher. He studied mathematics, intending to become an astronomer, but gave it up to study music at the Padua Conservatory. In 1834 while he was still a student his first opera, La fidanzata di Lammermoor, was performed in Padua with some success; it was followed in 1836 by Don Chisciotte in Milan. According to Fétis, he then visited Paris, where performances of Beethoven, the French operas of Meyerbeer and Halévy’s La Juive made a deep impression on him; this is reflected in his next operas, Esmeralda (1838) and I corsari (1840). Some critics had considered his earlier works too modern, and the more conservative ones now accused him of writing noisy, difficult music lacking in melody. Public reaction was mixed: Esmeralda was widely performed but not always well received, while I corsari was a fiasco at La Scala, as was Hernani at Genoa. Fétis attributed his abandonment of operatic composition in the late 1840s to the advent of Verdi. A revival of his Luigi V at La Scala in 1852 had only a succés d’estime. His other works include sacred music and songs.

From 1839 Mazzucato taught singing at the Milan Conservatory, and later composition, music history, aesthetics and instrumentation; he was director from 1872 until his death. Among his pupils were Boito, Amintore Galli and Gomes. He translated treatises by Garcia on singing, Berlioz on instrumentation and Fétis on harmony, and he was on the editorial staff of the Gazzetta musicale di Milano from its inception, as editor from 1856 to 1858. From 1854 to 1857 he was ‘maestro al cembalo’ (and for one season also impresario) at La Scala; from 1857 to 1868 he was ‘maestro concertatore’. In 1871 he was a member of the commission headed by Verdi for the reform of musical institutions.

His son Gian Andrea (b Milan; d London, Aug 1900), was music critic for the Corriere della sera and in 1878 succeeded his father as professor of aesthetics at the Milan Conservatory. In 1880 he moved to London, where he was a teacher and translator of Italian, and occasional music critic.

Alberto’s daughter, Elisa, composed the opera Mr Sampson of Omaha (1888, Omaha, Nebraska).

Works

all printed works published in Milan

Stage

La fidanzata di Lammermoor (dramma per musica, 2, P. Beltrame, after W. Scott), Padua, Nuovissimo, 24 Feb 1834, I-Mr*, excerpts, pf acc. (1836)

Don Chisciotte (melodramma giocoso, 2, G. Crescini, after M. de Cervantes), Milan, Canobiana, 26 April 1836, Mr, excerpts, pf acc. (1836)

Esmeralda (dramma serio, 3, F. De Boni, after V. Hugo: Notre Dame de Paris), Mantua, Sociale, 10 Feb 1838, Mr*, vs (1838)

Coro dei penitenti (incid music, A. Somma: Parisina), Trieste, Filodrammatico, 6 July 1838

I corsari (melodramma semiserio, 2, F. Romani), Milan, Scala, 15 Feb 1840, Mr*, vs (1840)

I due sergenti (melodramma, 2, Romani: Chiara e Serafina), Milan, Re, 27 Feb 1841, Mr*, vs (1841)

Luigi V, re di Francia (os, 3, Romani), Milan, Re, 25 Feb 1843, excerpts, pf acc. (n.d.)

rev. in 4 pts., Scala, 26 Dec 1852

Hernani (dramma serio, 2, D. Bancalari, after Hugo), Genoa, Carlo Felice, 26 Dec 1843

Alberico da Romano (dramma serio, 2, C. Berti), Padua, Nuovo, aut. 1847

La vergine di Kermo (os, 3, F. Guidi), Cremona, Concordia, Feb 1870 [collab. C. Pedrotti and others]

Fede, unperf.

Other works

Sacred

Messa (1842)

Vespri solenni (1842)

Sanctus; Roma, hymn, 1871

other works

Songs

Inno a Maria Malibran, B, pf (1835)

Ella morì romanza, S, pf (1837)

I due amanti sentimentali, notturno, S, T, pf (1837)

Sacra armonia sulla tomba d’una vergine (A. Maffei), S, Mez, hp/pf (1837)

Forse, ah! più non ti vedrò notturno, B, pf (1839)

4 melodies (1841)

Hymne du soir dans les temples (A. Lamartine), B, pf (1856)

Frammento del Faust (n.d.)

Instrumental

Un pensiero d'amore, notturno, pf (1842) Vesuve, galop, pf (n.d.)

Pedagogical

Atlante della musica antica, preceduto da una prefazione ai suoi allievi di storia e filosofia musicale (1867)

Bibliography

  • AMZ, 38 (1836), 763; xlii (1840), 381
  • GMM, 2 (1843), 40–41; x (1852), 58, 80; xxxiii (1878), 1–6
  • Il trovatore, 25 (1878), 4–5
  • C. Gatti: Il Teatro alla Scala nella storia e nell’arte, 1778–1963 (Milan, 1964)
Gazzetta musicale di Milano
Milan, Biblioteca della Casa Ricordi
Allgemeine (deutsche) Musik-Zeitung/Musikzeitung (1874-1943)
F.-J. Fétis: Biographie universelle des musiciens