Milano, 27 febbraio 1828
Mio caro Florimo = T’accludo una lettera per
Il tuo Bellini che t’ama –
Milano 27: F‹ebra›jo 1828
Puoi dire a
Al Sig:r D:n Francesco Florimo
Nel Real collegio di Musica
t.p. milano […] - nap 1828 | 6 mar
Milan, 27 February 1828
Vincenzo Bellini to Francesco Florimo. Letter.
Aut. I-Nc, Rari 1.9.10 (37). One bifolio, two sides with address on the verso.
Ed. Florimo 1882, pp. 304-306; Cambi 1943, pp. 57-59; Neri 2005, pp. 51-52.
My dear Florimo - I'm enclosing a letter for Gilardoni, which you can either deliver or destroy as you think best. - You'll see from its contents the adjustments I need to make, and I wish Romani were already here; but he wrote to me yesterday from Venice saying that he would arrive in Milan in just a few days and that he's ready to do everything I ask, and to do it well. I hope he comes soon so that I'm not left with my back to the wall. I see what Crescentini, Tosi, and Barbaja have been up to, all of them self-centered scoundrels whose behavior doesn't concern me because I've long understood exactly who they are. I can't say anything to them now, because if the opera is a fiasco they'll have been right; but that's hardly certain, we may have the last word after all. I'm determined, my dear Florimo, to spare no effort and do everything possible, with God's help, to make fools of them all. Everyone wanted Pirata to be a fiasco right up to the dress rehearsal and yet it was just the opposite, so let's hope something similar happens with Bianca. - I understand what you're saying about the last scena, and I'll try to follow your advice. - Tosi wrote me again on the 16th of this month asking for a new cavatina, but I'll answer her this morning that we can talk about it when she gets to Genoa, and that now it's necessary to think about the scena, which is more important. Last night was the first performance of Gli Arabi. The first act was fairly lifeless, apart from the introduzione with Biondini and the chorus, and while the remainder was applauded it hardly made much of an impression. Lalande's new cavatina is rubbish, but in the second act Lalande and David sang the duetto so well (that is to say just the stretta) that it created quite a sensation — and truth be told, it does kick up a lot of dramatic dust if nothing else. Lalande's scena got by largely on the strength of her performance alone, everyone saying it's more a collection of variations than an actual aria. David generally sang well, especially the aria and the duetto; but even so, dear friend, he reminds one quite a bit of Rubini, reaping applause without penetrating the heart, just like all of the music in the opera. - I'll leave you for now, comforted to know that you remain in good health, as am I. I'll be leaving for Genoa on 10 March, so keep that in mind. My salutations to all our true friends and enemies alike, and remember me fondly, with a warm embrace and a farewell from
Your devoted friend Bellini
Milan 27 February 1828
You can inform Cottrau that the only pieces remaining intact in Bianca are the gran duetto and the romanza — all of the others require some retouching and nearly half of them will be completely rewritten, so the only pieces he can send to Genoa are those, understood? I'm changing the cabaletta of David's cavatina, the same for Tamburini, also the one in the terzetto and perhaps in Tosi's cavatina as well. The stretta of the finale is different, and there's a new sinfonia using the original opening largo as the introduzione. I may also change the stretta in Tamburini's scena, possibly replacing it, if he agrees, with the cabaletta of the cavatina for David (who didn't want it because he prefers something more dulcet), and then use the cabaletta of Tamburini's scena for the terzetto in the first act. The romanza and the duetto remain as they are. I have to write David's scena, for which I've prepared an andante and a cabaletta that I think will be very effective. Then I'll replace that short prayer in the terzetto of the second act with Adelson's part of the terzetto that was so impressive, as you'll recall, when Marras sang it. That way I'll have Filippo's arrival interrupt the terzetto so that there's no need for a cabaletta, which would be tiring for Tosi and only seem somewhat shallow right after her father's dramatic pardon. Finally there's her scena, for which I've already prepared everything like all of the other pieces, so I only need to work them out with Romani's poetry when it comes. Keep your spirits up, my dear Florimo, who knows? Let's just hope for the best and be happy. Farewell.-
To Sig. Don Francesco Florimo
In the Real Collegio di Musica
postmark Milan [...] - nap |1828 |6 March