The panorama of the Italian
concerto performers composers of music for guitar in the early nineteenth
century often results to be incomplete because of the absence, in the
concert-halls and today's publishing trade, of authors and operas which, even if
composed by musicians who didn't hold a predominant position in the musical
culture of that epoch, and then they were considered inferior compared with the
most famous coeval names such as Giuliani, Carulli, Carcassi etc., sometimes
appear to be works inspired by grace and mastery.
Such is the case of Antonio Maria Nava (born around 1775 - 19.X.1826), above all
reminded as author of Le stagioni dell'anno (Year Seasons) for solo
guitar, the first opera published in 1808 Ricordi catalogue. He was author,
among others, of innumerable transcriptions from operas for solo guitar, or
introduced into various instrumental organic unities of Canzonette e ariette
(ditties and ariettas) for voice and guitar op. 39, 46, 59, of Fantasia
op. 14 for guitar solo and of a Metodo completo per chitarra francese
(Complete method for French guitar - Milan, around 1815).
The opera herein mentioned, found out by us at Codogno "Luigi Ricca"
public library, reports on the frontispiece
«Introduction and variations / to Sgherri's Chorus / in Elisa e Claudio Opera /
by Maestro Mercadante / Composed for solo GUITAR by / Antonio Nava / and
dedicated to Don Galeazzo Manna / Op. 621 Deposited with I. R. Library / MILAN /
lithographic print by Giov. Ricordi».
The opera appears with a severe introduction followed by F.S. Mercadante's theme
and Nava's variations combining, with grace and fresh inventiveness, the
intention to recreate on the guitar, with simplicity of writing and means, the
orchestral suggestions, the choral syllabication, the "sforzando
(forcing)" impromptus and other "tňpoi" of the opera writing. In
our revision we respected the dynamic marks and original agogic. The personal
additions were marked between brackets. Moreover, all original guitar slurs were
reported, often "ad eco (by echo) ", and the ones that, according to
their position shifts the usual rhythmical accentuations by proposing us, in
such a way, an executive praxis largely diffused in that period.
The slurs absent or neglected in the original were added outlined. Moreover, the
fingering of both hands, absent in the original, was added completely. Many
thanks to Mr. T. Salvatori, Director of Codogno "L. Ricca" Library,
for his kind collaboration.
[reproduction for kind concession of G. Zanibon Editions]