(b Lodi, 27 Jan 1837; d Bologna, 23 Nov 1907). Italian composer and poet. She studied composition at the Milan Conservatory with Alberto Mazzucato. She lived mostly in Bologna, teaching the piano and singing. Her appreciable literary gifts are exemplified by her patriotic and dramatic poetry; she provided the librettos for her own operas and the texts of her songs. Benevolent critics referred to her as ‘the Italian Sappho’ (Dall’Ongaro) or ‘a Bellini in skirts’ (Sanelli) for her polished verses and the fluency of her melodies. Ferrari collected her poetic and prose works in four volumes, Versi e prose (Bologna, 1878–82), which testify to a wide range of interests (e.g. the poem In morte di Felice Romani and the four-act drama Il vicario di Wakefield from Goldsmith's novel). The third volume contains the librettos of her three operas. The style and format of Ferrari's musical works adhere to the conventions of the mid-19th century.
C.Ferrari: ‘Memoria documentata sulle mie opere musicali’, Versi e prose (Bologna, 1878), iii, 131–94
A.Bonaventura: ‘Le donne italiane e la musica’, RMI, xxxii (1925), 519–34
P.Adkins Chiti: Donne in musica (Rome, 1982)
(b Piacenza, 1722; d Paris, 1780). Italian violinist and composer. He was considered one of Tartini’s best Italian pupils. After completing his studies, he settled in Cremona. In 1749 he made his début at the imperial court in Vienna, where he gained recognition as a violin virtuoso. He accepted a position at the Württemberg court in Stuttgart in 1753, appearing as soloist with Nardini, and during the next year he performed with great success at the Concert Spirituel in Paris. Some time after 1754 he visited Stuttgart again, after which he returned to Paris where he remained for the rest of his life.
Ferrari composed only instrumental works, of which the most important are the violin sonatas with continuo. While his consistent use of a figured bass in these sonatas is characteristic of the Baroque, his treatment of form, melody and harmony associates him more closely with the emerging Classical style, and he invariably used a Classical three-movement cycle. The binary scheme of the fast movements generally approximates to sonata form, though a fully conceived development section is scarcely apparent. The tonal planes are broader than in comparable Baroque sonatas, and the harmonic vocabulary consistently simple. He replaced the older style of running bass with a slowly moving bass line; similarly, instead of continuous motivic expansion he used short, well-defined melodic phrases articulated by numerous rests and cadences. Though his use of harmonics is historically important as one of the earliest applications of this technique, they occur in only one sonata (op.1 no.5), and in his other sonatas the technical demands are less than those of his older contemporaries.
Ferrari’s brother Carlo Ferrari (b Piacenza, ?1710–30; d Parma, ?1780–89) was a noted cello virtuoso who by 1765 was associated with the ducal chapel in Parma. He also composed numerous instrumental works of which several were published in Paris.
6 trio sonatas, 2 vn/fl, bc (London, 1757) [nos. 1,3–4,6 by Campioni]
36 sonatas, vn, b, opp.1–6 (Paris, 1758–62; facs. of op.1 in ECCS, v (1991))
6 Sonatas or Duets, 2 vn, op.2 (London, c1765) [nos.1–2 by Nardini]
Spurious: sonata, fl, vn, va, b, KA; 6 romances (Paris, n.d.), 6 nouvelles romances (Paris, n.d.), by G.G. Ferrari; Fr. and It. songs, US-BEm
J.W.von Wasielewski: Die Violine und ihre Meister (Leipzig, 1869, enlarged 8/1927/R by W. von Wasielewski)
V.D.Kock: The Works of Domenico Ferrari, 1722–1780 (diss., Tulane U., 1969)
VIRGINIA D. KOCK
(b Cremona, c1617; d ?Fano, in or after 1677). Italian composer. From December 1636 to August 1645 he was maestro di cappella of Fano Cathedral, resigning to become maestro di cappella at Senigallia, where he was also chamber musician to Cardinal Cesare Facchinetti. From 1656 to 7 August 1658 and from April 1660 until October 1677 he was again maestro at Fano. On 16 December 1659 he was elected to the Accademia degli Scomposti there and was still a member in 1672; as its ‘moderator della musica’ he composed canzonettas, madrigals and short dramatic works. In 1665 he turned down an offer from Parma, but in 1672 (‘aged 55’) he competed unsuccessfully for the post of maestro di cappella of S Petronio, Bologna. His application lists previous employment in Ravenna, Senigallia, Ancona, Loreto and Rome (S Lorenzo in Damaso), and service to cardinals Costaguti and Vidman. He lists his accomplishments as a keyboard player, tenor and composer (for ‘church, chamber and theatre’), and mentions an opera in production at Città di Castello. He may have written an oratorio, S Nicolò, for the Oratorio dei Filippini, Rome. According to Eitner he died about 1683.
L'amorosa libertà (dramma per musica, C. Barbetta), Senigallia, 10 Feb 1647, music lost
I due Coralbi (dramma per musica, C. Amadio), S Angelo in Vado, nr Fano, Comunale, 5 Sept 1671, music lost
?S Nicolò (orat, C. Massei and C.A. Stelluti), Rome, Chiesa Nuova, 1674, music lost