Gioachino Rossini: La gazza ladra

Rossini Critical Edition

Edited by Alberto Zedda (1979)

Two-volume score pp. XLIX, 1197 + critical commentary pp. 220
GR 01
Study score available
PR 1399
Piano vocal score available
CP 132722

The critical edition of La gazza ladra provides as the base text of the opera the version that went on stage in the first performance. The autograph score, the principal source for the edition, contains all the pieces Rossini himself wrote, while the recitatives are, as usual, the work of an unknown collaborator.

The critical edition emends the errors and inconsistences in Rossini’s autograph score and restores the musical text to its original state. The historical introduction to the score and the critical commentary not only reconstruct in detail the genesis and outcome of the first performance, but they also provide an extensive description of three particularly significant revivals in which Rossini directly participated in the production (Pesaro, 1818, Naples, 1819, and Naples 1820).

In Appendix I the editor provides a range of materials useful for any modern interpreter of the opera who wishes to interpolate stylistically appropriate variations and cadences.

Appendix also include: the alternative piece that Rossini inserted into the opera on the occasion of its performance in Pesaro in the summer of 1818 (in that context the composer added a cavatina for the character of Fernando, for the most part drawn from the introduction of Torvaldo e Dorliska); the pieces Rossini introduced for the revival in Naples in 1819 (Pippo’s Recitative and Cavatina, No. 5a; Fernando’s Recitativo and Aria, No. 6a); the text of Fernanando’s Scena and Aria (No. 13a), an alternative piece composed by Rossini for the famous bass Filippo Galli on the occasion of the revival in Naples in 1820.

The introduction and the critical commentary address the physical characteristics of the instruments at the time of Rossini, their performance techniques and the idiomatic writing of the composer, dealing in particular with questions relating to the use of piccolos, the bass drum, the triangle, trombones and horns.

The critical edition draws the verbal text principally from Rossini’s autograph score. When this source is incomplete or patently wrong, the edition relies on the printed libretto published on the occasion of the premiere in Milan, a source that often contains stage directions and descriptions of the scenery absent in the autograph score.