Autograph letter signed "Gio. Batt. Rubini" to an unidentified Countess
by RUBINI, Giovanni Battista 1794-1854
"It was in the new Romantic style of Bellini and Donizetti that he came into his own: he proved a vital influence on Bellini, creating the tenor leads in Bianca e Gernando (Gernando, 1826, Naples), Il pirata (Gualtiero, 1827, Milan), La sonnambula (Elvino, 1831, Milan) and I puritani (Arturo, 1835, Paris). During the composition of Il pirata he lodged with the composer, trying out each piece as it was written. Likewise, Bellini refused to commit to paper a note of Arturo's music in I puritani until Rubini was available to be consulted. The Donizetti premières in which Rubini was involved include, in Naples, La lettera anonima (1822), Elvida (1826), Gianni di Calais (1828), Il paria (1829) and Il giovedì grasso (1829) and, more importantly, Anna Bolena (Percy, 1830, Milan) and Marino Faliero (Fernando, 1835, Paris)... During Rubini's career the tenor, traditionally the young hero of opera buffa, was assuming the same role in the serious genre. In the new Romantic opera of the 1830s Rubini had at his disposal an intensity of expression that far outshone the cool heroics of the castratos and their female successors. His phenomenally high range, which induced Bellini to include a high F for him in the third act of I puritani, must be understood in the context of the convention of his day, when no tenor was expected to sing any note higher than a with full chest resonance... He is also credited with introducing Romantic mannerisms such as the ‘sob'. He was neither good-looking nor a good actor; his strength lay in the beauty of his tone and the natural artistry of his phrasing." Julian Budden in Grove Music Online.The "celebrated Garat" to whom Rubini refers may have been the noted French singer Pierre Garat (1762-1823) or his uncle, Dominique Joseph Garat (1749-1833), an important French writer and politician.. 2 pp. of a bifolium. Octavo. Dated February 10, 1841. In black ink. In French (with translation)."...You must not doubt the pleasure I would have taken in doing something which would be pleasant for you, and which at the same time would have had the goal of being useful to the brother of the celebrated Garat, but in spite of all my best wishes, Countess, I could not make an engagement to sing in a public concert, if you do not obtain permission for it from our impresario, Mr. Charles Demoy... "Slightly worn; creased at folds and lower corners; minor offsetting to blank third page. (Inventory #: 24179)
Musical Autographs and Manuscripts; Rare Books on Music and Dance; First and Early Editions of Printed Music; Prints, Drawings and Ephemera relating to Music and Dance including Opera and Ballet.
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