Gioachino Rossini: Il signor Bruschino

Rossini Critical Edition

Edited by Arrigo Gazzaniga (1986)

One-volume score pp. XXXV, 426 + critical commentary pp. 79
GR 06
Study score available
PR 1398
Piano vocal score available
CP 133893

Il signor Bruschino is the last of the five farse composed by Rossini in Venice between 1810 and 1813; the opera went on stage at the Teatro di San Moisè on 27 January 1813.

The Critical Edition publishes all the music performed in the course of the first performance of the opera taking as its principal source the autograph manuscript that contains all the musical numbers written by Rossini and the dry recitatives prepared, in keeping with the usual practice of the time, by an unknown collaborator; it clarifies the vocal register of the character of the Commissario [Police Inspector]. Rossini wrote this role for the tenor Gaetano dal Monte – also the first interpreter of the part of Bruschino junior – but the unknown composer of the recitatives always notated the part in the bass key. The Critical Edition adopts the vocal register chosen by Rossini. Also, in the recitatives the character is referred to as “Delegato” (not “Commissario”) by Rossini’s anonymous collaborator; the libretto printed for the first performance in Venice also refers to this character as “Delegato”. It is highly likely, then, that the recitatives were composed starting from the printed libretto and so in an advanced phase, when the term “Delegato” had replaced “Commissario” without this change producing metrical problems. The Critical Edition adopts “Commissario” (Rossini’s term) throughout.

In the critical commentary the editor reconstructs all the previous versions of the corrected passages, thus providing a clear exposition of the various compositional strata that overlap each another in the autograph score, with the intention of helping readers to understand Rossini’s compositional procedure.

The historical introduction, in addition to the usual reconstruction of the genesis and performance history of the opera, provides a section dedicated to particular problems of a performance nature. In particular it discusses extensively the famous passage of the Sinfonia in which the second violins were supposedly required to tap their bows on the tin lightshades of their music stands (according to what was reported in the press at the time). The edition, after a careful examination of Rossini’s notation, suggests a possible performance alternative.

The verbal text is principally taken from Rossini’s autograph score; when this source is incomplete or patently wrong, the Critical Edition relies on the printed libretto published on the occasion of the première in Naples (above all to insert the punctuation, often missing in the autograph, and the stage directions).