Critical edition

The Foundation and Research Centre for Studies on Vincenzo Bellini supports – according to its statute – the documentary project of the Critical edition of Vincenzo Bellini’s Complete Works, currently being undertaken by Ricordi publishers with the scientific direction of Fabrizio Della Seta, Alessandro Roccatagliati and Luca Zoppelli.

The first volume, I Capuleti e i Montecchi, edited by Claudio Toscani, was published in 2003; followed three years later by the second, devoted to the Instrumental Music and edited by Andrea Chegai; in 2009 La sonnambula, edited by Alessandro Roccatagliati and Luca Zoppelli; and in 2012, Vocal chamber music, edited by Carlida Steffan.

In the context of the impressive effort of historical and critical research devoted in recent decades to Italian 19th century music, an up-to-date and reliable edition of Bellini’s works was badly needed to set alongside new editions of the operas of Rossini, Donizetti and Verdi, in order to complete the broader framework of monumental critical editions dedicated to the four most important composers of Italian 19th century repertoire.

Like its counterparts the Critical edition of Bellini’s works aims to fulfil the requirements of both performers and scholars, providing reliable texts for use in the opera house and for historical-critical studies. Freed from the residue of stale routine, the texts will be made available in all their performing dynamism, complete with all the variants prepared or accepted by the composer, and ensuring the proper availability of scores all too often dismissed as minor works.

The Foundation and Research Centre for Studies on Vincenzo Bellini have also launched a Critical edition of Bellini’s correspondence to be edited by Graziella Seminara under the scientific direction of a Committee including Lorenzo Bianconi, Fabrizio Della Seta, Maria Rosa De Luca, Fernando Gioviale, Philip Gossett, Alessandro Roccatagliati and Luca Zoppelli. This project aims to undertake a full-scale and systematic survey of Bellini’s correspondence, focusing both on the letters written by the composer and on those from his correspondents, and paying special attention to their authenticity. In fact Francesco Florimo, the recipient of the bulk of Bellini’s letters, is known to have introduced corrections and interpolations in producing his Bellini. Memorie e lettere (Firenze, Barbera, 1882).