Gioachino Rossini: Il Turco in Italia

Rossini Critical Edition

Edited by Margaret Bent (1988)

Two-volume score pp. LIII, 1040 + critical commentary pp. 259
GR 07
Piano vocal score available
CP 132838

Il Turco in Italia went on stage for the first time at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan on 14 August 1814. In the autumn of the following year Rossini was engaged in a re-staging of the opera at the Teatro Valle in Rome and on this occasion he made a number of changes to the score.

The critical edition emends the errors and inconsistencies in the sources and restores the musical text to its original state. It discusses in the critical commentary and presents solutions in the score to recurrent problems in the reading of Rossini’s autograph that have generated different and at times erroneous readings in the existing versions.

The historical introduction, in addition to the usual reconstruction of the genesis and performance history of the opera, provides a detailed description of the two versions of the opera prepared by the composer. This study is not just an indispensible reference for understanding the history of the Turco but it also constitutes an essential tool for the modern interpreter who wishes to stage the opera.

The critical edition presents in the principal text all the music written by Rossini and by a collaborator – the latter engaged in the composition of the dry recitatives and of No.s 2, 12 and 16 – for the first production of the opera in Milan; Appendix I contains other musical material related to the Milan version but not included in the principal text (bars omitted from the definitive draft or deleted, autograph vocal variants).

Appendix II offers all the material necessary to realise the autumn 1815 Rome version of the opera, which Rossini oversaw personally.

The critical commentary contains a brief reconstruction of two further versions of the opera that went on stage in Naples and Paris in 1820. Although what were involved were not authentic revivals, the Naples version was performed in a period during which the composer was in the city, while the Paris one, a pastiche of the original, gave rise to various traditional versions of the opera that circulated regularly even up until after World War II.