Luigi Brambilla: V Ariette Italiane e Duettino, op. 5, the complete preface by Brian Jeffery

The V Ariette Italiane e Duettino of Luigi Brambilla were first published in Vienna in 1811, and have not been republished until now. They are one of a series of vocal works composed by Brambilla at this time and are a fine product of the rich Viennese musical life of the day. Brambilla may have been Milanese, since the name is typical of Milan. His works all appeared in Vienna within the period 1809 to 1821. Most of them – a higher proportion than is normal for songs of the period – have guitar accompaniment as well as keyboard, and no guitar arranger is named; thus the guitar versions are probably by Brambilla himself. Both the piano and the guitar parts are competent and idiomatic.

Brambilla’s known works are as follows. In the following list, GdM stands for Vienna, Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde; WStB for Vienna, Stadtbibliothek; and NYPL for New York, Public Library. The dates are derived from the invaluable publications of Alexander Weinmann: Verlagsverzeichnis Pietro Mechetti quondam Carlo, Vienna, 1966, and Vollständiges Verlagsverzeichnis Artaria & Comp., Vienna, 1952. The locations are derived from my own research in Vienna and elsewhere. WZ stands for an advertisement in the Wiener Zeitung, as listed by Weinmann. An asterisk indicates the presence of a guitar accompaniment.

VI Ariette Italiane … op.l. Copy: WStB. WZ 1809.

* IV Romances. . . op.2. Copy: GdM. WZ 1810.

* IV Romances . . . op.3. Copies: GdM and WStB. WZ 1811.

* 4 Romances . . . op.4. Copies: GdM and WStB. WZ 1811.

* V Ariette Italiane e Duettino … op. 5. The present work; see below.

* IV Romances. . . op.6. Copies: GdM and NYPL. WZ 1812.

* IV Romances . . . op.7. Copies: GdM and WStB. WZ 1812.

* IV Romances 1 Italienne 1 Allemande 1 Française et 1 Russe… op.8. Copies: GdM and WStB. WZ 1814.

* IV Romances. . . op.9. Copy: GdM. WZ 1816.

3 Ariette . . . op.10. Listed in Whistling/Hofmeister, 1817, as published by Mechetti, Vienna. No copy found.

“An eine Sängerin” by “Brambilla” without any Christian name, in Deutsche Gedichte (copy, GdM, VI 12874b eee).

“La Lontananza”, canzonetta, again by “Brambilla”, in XXXIV Canzonette o Romanzi (copy, GdM, VI 14750).

6 Ariettes av. Harpe ou Pianoforte. Listed in Whistling/Hofmeister, Vierter Nachtrag, 1821, as published by Sprenger, Vienna. No copy found.

* 5 Ariette Italiane con Pianoforte o Chitarra. Ditto, ditto.

The V Ariette Italiane e Duettino, op.5, were advertised in the Wiener Zeitung on 25 September 1811, according to Alexander Weinmann, Verzeichnis der Musikalien der Verlages Maisch-Sprenger-Artaria, Vienna, 1970, p.25.

Only two copies of the work are known to exist. One is in the collection of Robert Spencer, London, to whom I am most grateful for having drawn my attention to this fine work. The other is in the Musikarchiv, Stift Heiligenkreuz, Lower Austria, and it is this latter copy which has been used for this edition because it is somewhat more clear for reproduction purposes. It has been photographed at 93% of the original size. I am grateful to Professor Alexander Weinmann for having informed me, during a visit to Vienna, of the existence of this copy, to the Stift Heiligenkreuz for permission to reproduce it, and to Valerie James for valuable help with the Italian texts.


London, 1983

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