Young Verdi works revived by Southampton professor

Young Verdi

A music scholar from the University of Southampton has injected new life into seven pieces of music written by Giuseppe Verdi when he was a young composer.

Head of Music, Professor Francesco Izzo, has supervised the first critical edition of these compositions, dating from the 1830s when Verdi was in his late teens or early 20s. 

The edition has involved painstaking research, bringing together original manuscripts in Verdi’s writing as well as the hand of others. Francesco has relied on stylistic and documentary evidence to interpret the missing sections, as well as confirming Verdi’s involvement in completing or revising the work of other composers. 

Francesco says:

Verdi is known to have worked on a number of pieces when he was young. Many of these did not survive, however a number of early works by him, or associated with him, have surfaced. I have been working with the volume editor, Mr Dino Rizzo, to revive these and bring them to an appropriate, authentic standard for publication and performance.

The critical edition is being published in The Works of Giuseppe Verdi which will make all of Verdi’s works available in complete and textually accurate recordings. As General Editor for the series, Francesco is co-ordinating and supervising the work of a large team of scholars who are endeavouring to publish all of Verdi’s compositions in authoritative critical editions. 

The critical edition of these young Verdi works is due to be published in 2020, but the seven pieces were performed in March 2016 at the Sarasota Opera in Florida as part of The Verdi Cycle – a 28-year project which aimed to perform all of the composer’s works. The project began in 1989 and has recently concluded, with some of the pieces presented to the public for the first time in the modern era.

 

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