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Vita musicale

(Milan, 1911-1915)

Prepared by Elvidio Surian
Online only (2018)

Vita musicale [VIM]— subtitled “Giornale dell’Associazione Italiana degli Amici della Musica”— was published irregularly in Milan in twenty-three monthly issues from December 1911 to January 1915. Each issue consists of fifteen to twenty-three pages printed in a full-page format and numbered continuously: 104 pages in 1911-1912 (Anno I), 252 + 36 pages in 1913-1914 (Anno II), 52 pages in 1915 (Anno III). The journal was printed by typographers Francesco Cassina in 1911-1912, by Giovanni Martinato in 1913-1915; a certain Mario Ferraguti was the editor.

The opening essay “Il nostro programma” gives a detailed account of the activities and aims of the Associazione, founded in 1902. In its noticeable and rich concert season it promoted performances of rare historical works by Pergolesi, E. de’ Cavalieri and Benedetto Marcello, among others, that did not figure in the standard repertory, thus contributing to widen the musical taste of the public. From 1906 it was presided by Guido Carlo Visconti di Modrone (1881-1967), a pianist, composer, conductor, active organizer of concert activities throughout Italy, and guiding spirit of the journal. In 1910 he conducted performances of Monteverdi’s Orfeo in a successful tournée in numerous Italian cities.

The opening pages of each issue is generally reserved for extensive full-page articles and critical essays deal with topics of historical and musicological interest. Among the scholars who contributed to major essays are Maffeo Zanon, Giuseppe Zampieri, Ettore Bontempelli, Alberto Gasco, Fausto Torrefranca. Notable are the rubrics “I concerti” and “Notizie e varietà” which furnish regularly rather extensive information not only of the vivacious concert activities of Milan, but as well of other Italian and European cities; no accounts are given of operatic events; these rubrics constitute the most cogent sections of the journal.

In 1913 VMU published four major articles that deal respectively with Grétry (n. 8), Wagner’s Parsifal (n. 9), Verdi (n. 10), Orazio Vecchi’s Amfiparnaso (n. 11). The fifty-two page issue of 1915 is dedicated exclusively to the life and works of pianist and composer Giovanni Rinaldi (1840-1895).

Undeniably due to the wartime critical situation, the journal ceased publication in January 1915, and was never resumed.