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the most important since – being a historical musician – I strongly believe in the importance of divulging unknown and unpublished music.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), One or two string quartets
  • Michele Gallucci, Sonata for violoncello and basso
  • Carlo Ferrari (1714-1790), One or 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 

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”

If this fund-raising will succeed, 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 campagne has started!

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.