Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Price, Curtis. "Unity, Originality, and the London Pasticcio." Harvard Library Bulletin n.s. 2 (Winter 1991): 17-30.

To properly understand London pasticcios of the eighteenth century, the genre must not be compared to the nineteenth-century ideal of opera, but must be considered in light of what was practiced and performed in eighteenth-century London. To showcase the talents of the performers and reflect the tastes of the audience, theatrical and pasticcio performances usually presented an amalgamation of materials. As the eighteenth century progressed, pasticcios became increasingly important, occasionally serving as venues for experiments and innovation. For example, Ferdinando Bertoni's Giunio Bruto (1782) defied pasticcio conventions by concluding with a secco recitative. Pasticcios could also significantly alter a model. Samuel Arnold's Giulio Cesare (1787) both reduced the musical material of Handel's original Giulio Cesare (1724) and inserted popular numbers from several of Handel's other operas. Until the later part of the eighteenth century, performers had the legal ability to perform substitute arias in a pasticcio. As the century continued, a power struggle erupted between copyists and singers, culminating in two legal battles. The courts ultimately sustained the rights of the performer to introduce arias in an opera, regardless of whether the aria was newly composed or borrowed the work of another composer.

Works: Samuel Arnold: Giulio Cesare in Egitto (22-24); Paisiello: Il re Teodoro in Venezia (25-27); Vincenzo Federici: L'usurpator innocente (27); Gertrude Elisabeth Mara: "Anche nel petto io sento" (27-30).

Sources: Handel: Guilio Cesare (22-24); Steven Storace: "Care donne che bramate" (25-27); Paisiello: La Molinarella (27-30).

Index Classifications: 1700s

Contributed by: Laura B. Dallman

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