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Madrigal - Marco Anzoletti?

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M. Anzoletti - Madrigal (Excerpt)

M. Anzoletti - Madrigal - Full Piece Recording 

Composer: Marco Anzoletti?  (1866-1929)


IMSLP has a note that says "Doubtful authorship due to lack of signatures and a bit weird handwriting," so Anzoletti might not even be the composer. 

Anzoletti was an Italian composer from a musical family who studied in Milan and Vienna.  There's a lot of Anzoletti's sheet music on IMSLP, and there's a bunch of youtube videos of his chamber work, but I really only found like one piece that had an "official" audio recording.

Date: circa 1910-1920?

Original Instrumentation: 2 violins, 2 cellos

 

Why this one:

This had interesting instrumentation, being (probably) 2 violins and 2 cellos.  There was no instrumentation noted, but 2 violins and 2 cellos makes sense and there wasn't any awkward finger twisting that can be a tell that it wasn't written for the instrument you're playing.  

Also, I was interested in the challenge as this score was an absolute wreck.  It is handwritten very sloppily, and so lightly I could barely see the notes.  Some of the measures were completely illegible and I think the copyist made a bunch of mistakes.

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madrigal score.png

Original Score

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So, yeah, no one is doing this one unless I do it.  I also like the word 'madrigal.'

 

Description:  

 

Key: A

Time: 3/4  BPM=105

 

So the elephant in the room here is the score.  It's in such bad shape that I had to make a lot of choices in figuring out what a measure probably said, and then making adjustments when what I thought it said sounded completely insane.  I put the whole thing into my Sibelius software as best I could and then listened back to see how it held together.  

 

There were lots of measures where the notes on the staff were ambiguous due to the sloppy handwriting and a bunch where i couldn't read them at all.  I made notes as I was going, with some representative ones being "Should this note be G?", "???", "wtf?", and "This measure is fucking illegible."

 

In addition to having to parse a score I could barely read, there were also things that were not horribly illegible but sounded very wrong in my software.  These were clustered mostly in the middle section where the instruments were playing some incredibly unusual and extremely dissonant chords.  It's hard because I don't know who the composer actually was or for sure when it was written.  Could it be a 20th century atonal dissonant piece?  It's possible but the beginning, which was relatively legible, feels like a really conventional Classical fugue with a strong tone center.  So I thought it was unlikely that it took an extremely weird harmonic turn in the middle, especially in a section that was hard to read.  I decided that it was more likely that the copyist made some mistakes than the composer ate mushrooms a third of the way through.

After the opening fugal part in A major, the cellos switch to being mostly support.  It seems to drift into a minor key and then violins play some interesting melodies, with lots of accidentals, over cello chords.   The cello chord sections were the ones I had to do the most decision making on as a lot of them were legible in the score, but sounded really off in practice.

 

The piece then returns to the fugal feel through the ending.

 

Performance:

 

This one wasn't really very difficult and it's short.  The sixteenth note triplets in violin 1 towards the end were tricky, but I played them pretty well.  I did the violins in one session and the cellos in the next.  

 

Adding the cellos, while not difficult, was a little stressful as I wasn't sure if the harmonies I chose were going to sound awful against the violins.  There were a couple of spots that I was concerned were going to sound weird, but they ended up sounding much better with the real instruments than they did with the Sibelius midi output.  I had them circled in the score and was mentally prepared to have to adjust them, but I didn't have to.

 

Errata:

 

For reference, this piece is 2'40" long and I had 34 measures (across the 4 parts) that I had to make adjustments to after my initial input to Sibelius.

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