Josef Mysliveček e l’esecuzione napoletana dell’Orfeo di Gluck (1774)
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A revised version of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, with inserted pieces by Johann Christian Bach and others, was performed at the San Carlo Theatre in Naples on 4th November 1774. By collecting and analysing little known, or newly found, archival documents, the article shows the complex evolution of the theatrical season, and points out the role played by Josef Mysliveček in the choice, manipulation, and execution of the score; an ignored judgement by the Bohemian composer on the work is also examined, in connection with the specific features of the Neapolitan performance. A brief discussion is devoted to the payments for two (of the nine) drammi per musica written by Mysliveăek in Naples, which are compared with the rewards of other maestri di cappella, in order to show the degree of professional achievement reached by the musician. The manuscripts of Mysliveček’s operas, preserved in the library of the Conservatorio di Musica “San Pietro a Majella” in Naples, are considered in the last paragraph; one of them (Farnace) is probably a partial autograph, while the other seven belonged to the collection of the Queen of Naples, Maria Carolina; she, the daughter of Empress Maria Teresa, could have favoured the author’s Neapolitan career.
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