In copisteria del Conte, rediscovering forgotten music

The inspiration

“In copisteria del Conte”, literally in the copy atelier of the Count, is a project that combines history and music. As a baroque cellist, my passion for music is reinforced by understanding its historical context. That is why I would like to record a CD with beautiful and forgotten music, which at the same time tells a story about my hometown Genoa “La Superba”, a city with a rich musical life in the 18th century. Central figure in the project is Count Federico Taccoli who owned a copy atelier in Genoa from 1751 onwards. Thanks to this atelier, that existed for at least 50 years, a lot of music from the time has been preserved.

Who was the Count?

The Federico Count Taccoli was probably born in Modena around 1727 in a noble family. Around 1740 he moved to Genoa. In Genova he occupied himself with several businesses including copying music scores. Apparently, as a person he was not really appreciated in the society of the time. Some contemporaries complained that he was often involved in business in an inappropriate way and in addition he had a personality which was apparently not very pleasant. However, despite his bad reputation, there is no doubt about the importance of his activity as a music copyist: a considerable amount of music by different composers has survived thanks to his copy atelier. This collection is now kept at the library of the Conservatorio “N.Paganini” di Genova as a part of the antique collection.

The music

Since a large quantity of music was available I had to select the pieces that will be part of this compilation. I had three criteria: 1) I wanted to focus on instrumental music only (without singers); 2) the pieces had to be for small ensemble (this choice had to do with a limited budget, therefore I have excluded pieces for orchestra or big ensembles); 3) the music was preferably not published (yet). The last criterion is for me the most important since – being a historical musician – I strongly believe in the importance of divulging unknown and unpublished music. The libraries are still full of forgotten music! It is up to us (musicians) to find and play it. In addition, I wanted to create a colourful palette of sounds choosing music for different settings and instruments. Below is a list of the pieces I am planning to record.

  • Pietro Nardini (1722-1793), Two string quartets
  • Michele Gallucci, Sonata for violoncello and basso
  • Carlo Ferrari (1714-1790), Two “Gare” for two cellos 
  • Emanuele Barbella (1718-1777), Two Sonatas for two violins
  • Gasparo Arnaldi, Two Sonatas for salterio, violino and cello
  • Luigi Boccherini (1743-1895), Sonata per violoncello e basso G579 and Sonata per due violoncelli G571

Your Support

SENA Muziekproductiefonds is supporting this project with a donation. Thanks to them, I will be able to cover part of the production of this CD. But that does not make the music sound yet. Your help is needed to make the CD happen!

VideoTour: “The musical places of la Superba”

In addition, I will produce a video tour in which I will show you Genoa and the places that were part of the genovese musical life. It will be a dive in the past of a city that was a very important cultural centre and that has hosted the most important artists.

The crowdfunding through the website is over

The crowdfunding through the website is over and it succeeded reaching 96% of the budget needed. I am very grateful to all the donors for their support and their trust in this project. Since the crowdfunding was a success, I decided to push my ambitions further trying to produce not a single CD but a double CD. This would allow me to record the predetermined pieces plus the pieces I initially sacrificed because they would not fit on the CD.

Almost there!

For this reason the fundraising is still going on. If you are interested to support the making of the double CD, you can contact me directly. I will update you and I will send you instructions on how to make a donation. Recording sessions are planned for July 2023, so there is still some time!

This project is supported by:

Sources and links
Bongiovanni, Carmela. “LUIGI BOCCHERINI A GENOVA (1765, 1767): NOVITÀ E PRECISAZIONI.” Rivista Italiana Di Musicologia, vol. 41, no. 1, 2006, pp. 65–99. JSTOR Accessed 5 Oct. 2022.
Mingozzi, Davide. “Una famiglia di copisti e suggeritori a Genova: i Taccoli e il Teatro.” Il Paganini, Quaderno del Conservatorio “N. Paganini” di Genova, n° 6, 2020, pp. 103-115.