Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Calella, Michele, and Günter Stummvoll. “Borrowing, Reworking, and Composing: The Making of Viennese Pasticci of 1750.” Musicologica Austriaca: Journal for Austrian Music Studies (November 2020).

The three pasticci that debuted at the Theater nächst der Burg in Vienna in 1750, Andromeda liberata, Euridice, and Armida placata, were created as a result of complex interactions among librettists, performers, and many composers who borrowed and adapted music from Vienna and beyond. These three works were the only pasticci to appear at the Theater under the direction of Rocco Lo Presti during a short-lived resurgence of opera seria in Vienna. Between them, there are twenty-three borrowed arias composed between 1734 and 1750 (twenty of which have been identified). Local composer Georg Christoph Wagenseil probably coordinated the music in all three pasticci with various local librettists providing new text. Many of the borrowed arias were included by way of the singers who had performed them in other theaters, were associated with the original productions, or had access to prints of the arias. Two of Johann Adolph Hasse’s arias borrowed in Euridice show no connection to the local singers, but instead come from older operas that had been adapted and staged in Vienna decades prior. Andromeda liberata contains the highest proportion of borrowed arias, with some arias even appearing without any text changes. As a rule, however, the texts were rewritten, preserving the verse structure but changing the content, sometimes quite drastically. The musical changes are by comparison more difficult to ascertain, as complete scores for some sources exist in multiple versions or are missing entirely. In most cases, arias are unchanged if they are associated with a particular singer. Some arias were transposed or melodically adjusted to fit the range of the new singer. Arias by Girolamo Abos sung by Maria Masucci were recomposed to emphasize her apparent technical ability, with repeated coloratura passages and longer ritornellos. These pasticci were created as a result of historically contingent and pragmatic decisions dependent on the music and musicians available to Lo Presti’s theater.

Works: Georg Chrisoph Wagenseil (music coordinator): Andromeda liberata (11-13, 16-17, 19-21), Euridice (15, 17, 19-21), Armida placata (11, 13, 18, 21-22)

Sources: Baldassare Galuppi: Evergete (11, 13, 20); Georg Christoph Wagenseil: La clemenza di Tito (11); Johann Adolph Hasse: Arminio (12), Semiramide riconosciuta (13), Il natal di Giove (12, 16, 19-20), Attilio Regolo (12, 17-18), Il Sesostrate (15), Gerone tiranno di Siracusa (15); Niccolò Jommelli: Ezio (13, 18, 21), Merope (13, 19-21); Domenico Sarro: Ezio (13); Andrea Bernasconi: Bajazet (13); George Frideric Handel: Arianna in Creta (13, 20); Girolamo Abos: Pelopida (13, 21-22), Arianne e Teseo (13, 17)

Index Classifications: 1700s

Contributed by: Matthew Van Vleet

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Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
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