Gioachino Rossini: Torvaldo e Dorliska

Rossini Critical Edition

Edited by Francesco Paolo Russo (2007)

Two-volume score pp. L, 752 + critical commentary pp. 207
GR 34

The critical edition of Torvaldo e Dorliska is the first complete printed score of the opera. It provides as the base text of the opera the version that went on stage in the first performance (Rome, Teatro Valle, December 26, 1815). The principal source for the edition is Rossini’s autograph score, which nonetheless contains some non-autograph numbers (No.s 2, 4, 10 and 13) as well as the dry recitatives written by a copyist (probably the same one that composed the recitatives of the Barber of Seville).

The edition reproduces – in Appendix I – a recitative in replacement of the Recitative after the Duca and Giorgio’s Duet (No. 12) and the immediately following Dorliska and Torvaldo’s Duet (No. 13). This recitative is present in the autograph source but it is by a hand different both to that of the composer and to that of the collaborator who wrote the dry recitatives. It is not known, however, under what circumstances this recitative was prepared, not least because its verbal text has not been found in any libretto of the epoch.

Appendix II contains an extended version of Dorliska and Torvaldo’s Duettino (No. 13) in a reduction for voice and piano. This version of the duettino is testified to in a printed copy published by the Neapolitan publisher Girard and is also found inserted into the end of a complete manuscript copy of the opera held in Naples, a source that seems to reflect the changes that Rossini effected on the occasion of a revival of the opera in the city. This source seems to be the only testimony to this version of the piece.

Footnotes to the principal text contain all the vocal variants (although not autograph) arguably ascribable to the reworking that Rossini effected to the part of Torvaldo in view of the revival of the opera in Naples in 1818.

The critical commentary offers a detailed reconstruction of Rossini’s compositional process furnished with extensive digressions aimed at throwing light on the various compositional levels and the various evolutionary phases of Rossini’s musical text.

The editor deals with a number of important problems tied to the instrumental parts. In particular, in accordance with the autograph score the edition maintains the use of pairs of instruments (flutes, bassoons, and trombones) in the sinfonia, whereas it suggests respecting the marking of single instruments (as in the autograph) in the rest of the opera. The edition also reconstructs on the basis of the secondary sources the instrumental parts that are missing or incomplete in the autograph.

Verbal text is principally taken from the autograph score. When this source is incomplete or patently wrong, the edition relies on the printed libretto published on the occasion of the Roman premiere, a source that often reproduces stage directions and descriptions of scenery absent in the autograph score.