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Listen to the beginning of "Gagliarda"

"... a ballare incominciarono
Ed a saltare all'usanza lombarda,
Che a chi piace è un modo molto adorno,
E chiamasi ballare alla Gagliarda”

“...they started dancing
and leaping about in the Lombard manner,
those who like it find exquisite,
and call it dancing 'alla Gagliarda”

(Berni, Orlando Innamorato, Libro 30, Canto 20, Stanza 36a.)

These verses are found on the frontispiece of each of Alfredo Piatti's (and his daughter Rosa Piatti Lochis's) autograph copy of the Gagliarda.
Orlando Innamorato, the masterpiece of Matteo Maria Boiardo (1440 - 1494) has the same main theme as the Canzoniere (1476), the discipline of love. It was written for Ercole I duca d'Este, but was left unfinished at the 26th stanza of the ninth canto because Boiardo died.
In 1531, the FIorentine Francesco Berni (1497 - 1535), who was active at the Medici court, finished his "revision" of Orlando Innamorato, which he intended to improve stylistically and by Tuscanizing the language. He embellished and corrected it here and there, but did not change its essential character. It is this second version of the poem on love that inspired Alfredo Piatti's Gagliarda, which, together with the Bergamasca (ca. 1852), had already shown his interest in giving life to "Lombard" dances. The joyful, brilliant writing, which alternates trills, chords and staccato notes, is reminiscent of the writing of the fourth capriccio in the famous Dodici capricci op. 25.

In my revision of the Gagliarda I wanted to preserve the author's original annotations for fingerings and bowings by putting them above the music in the cello part. Under the music are some of my suggestions, among many possible solutions.

Christian Bellisario

Opera details:
for cello and piano

Alfredo Piatti Cello Collection
Editor Christian Bellisario

Pizzicato Verlag Helvetia, PVH 757


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