An unpublished piece by Giacomo Puccini will be performed for the first time at the Lucca classical music festival, April 28

Apr 21, 2024 1167

A young Puccini, a piece that remained "hidden" for a very long time, then available only in unfinished form and, finally, brought back to light recently thanks to the studies of Professor Gabriella Biagi Ravenni of the Centro Studi Puccini, who found it complete in the library of the Conservatorio di Musica "Luigi Boccherini," where the Puccini was "at home."

"I figli dell'Italia bella - Cessato il suo dell'armi," is the title of the composition that will be performed by the "Boccherini" Conservatory Orchestra, conducted by Maestro GianPaolo Mazzoli, at the close of the classical music festival traditionally held in Lucca in the spring.

Giacomo Puccini composed it in 1877, participating in a call for entries issued by the organizers of the "Lucca Exposition." That call called for the composition of a vocal and instrumental piece celebrating Italian pride, beauty and genius. The young Puccini, therefore, participated, given also the prize money. Unfortunately, however, he did not win.

Since then on "I figli dell'Italia bella - Cessato il suo dell'armi" silence has fallen and also a certain mystery. The score is found in the Puccini Archives, in Torre del Lago, but incomplete. Many scholars have been studying it for years, but with no luck.

Until a few months ago, when Gabriella Biagi Ravenni found a copy in the library of the Conservatory where Giacomo had studied and where his father Michele had taught. Where? In one of the fonds kept in that historic place of music. An autograph score that can be no other than the complete version of that youthful composition partly already discovered in Torre del Lago. 

Those notes, which remained hidden for so long, will resonate again in Lucca, where they were written, in the very year in which the centenary of the great composer's death is being celebrated. Lucca and Puccini -- Puccini and Lucca. An indissoluble pair.

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