Faà di Bruno, Giovanni Matteo [Horatio, Orazio] 83

Francesco Varoter. See Ana, Francesco d’. Francés de Iribarren, Juan

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Francesco Varoter.

See Ana, Francesco d’.

Francés de Iribarren, Juan

(b Sangüesa, bap. 24 March 1699; d Málaga, 2 Sept 1767). Spanish composer and organist. He spent some years as a choirboy at the Colegio de Cantorcicos, Madrid. He was taught by Joseph de Torres, who in 1717 recommended him to succeed Francisco Navarro as organist of Salamanca Cathedral. Francés de Iribarren held the post for 16 years, composing works for the consecration of the new cathedral building in August 1733. On 1 October 1733 he became maestro de capilla of Málaga Cathedral, where he remained until his retirement due to illness on 16 April 1766, despite the offer of a post at Valladolid Cathedral in 1741.

The style of his music is characterized by an infrequent use of the polychoral technique. His figured basses are unusual for Spanish Baroque music in that they are so detailed, and in some cases they are written out, providing an insight into contemporaneous realization. Instruments that had not enjoyed a long tradition in Spanish cathedrals, such as the violin and oboe, are used idiomatically, exploiting their full potential. Two pieces that include instrumental sections are the villancico Querubines bajad (E-SA) and the cantata Prosigue acorde lira (1740, MA). Francés de Iribarren was probably the most prolific Spanish villancico composer of the 18th century; since his entire collection is dated (1722–66), it represents an indispensable case-study of the evolution of the genre. Most of his music is in the Málaga Cathedral archive, which he set up in 1737. Its first inventory, dated 1770, lists more than 800 pieces by him.


385 Lat. vocal pieces, 1–9 vv, with and without insts, 360 of which in E-MA, some in Bc, C, GRc, GRcr, GU, LPA, Mp, SA, SI, Convento de la Encarnación, Osuna: 120 motets (1 ed. in MME, xxxv (1973)), 69 pss, 39 ants, 27 masses, 26 lamentations, 25 hymns (1 partially ed. R. Mitjana y Gordón, ‘La musique en Espagne’, EMDC, I/iv (1920), 1913–2351, esp. 2136), 21 misereres, 19 Mag settings, 14 seqs, 6 res, 5 invitatories, 5 Nunc, 4 Offices of the dead, 3 lessons, 1 Stabat mater, 1 lit

Other Lat. vocal pieces, uncatalogued, Mn

521 Sp. vocal pieces (incl. texts by J. Guerra, A. Ferrer, A. Pablo Fernández), mainly 1–8 vv, almost always with insts, 510 of which in MA, some in GCA-Gc, E-SA: 390 villancicos (5 ed. in Sánchez), 109 cants. (3 ed. in MME, xxxv (1973)), 22 arias

Piece, org, Zac


MGG1 (G. Bourligueux)

F. Pedrell: Diccionario biográfico y bibliográfico de músicos y escritores de música españoles, portugueses y hispano-americanos antiguos y modernos: A–Gaz, (Barcelona, 1894–7)

L. Torre de Trujillo: El archivo de música de la Catedral de Las Palmas (Las Palmas, 1964–5), 159

A. Llordén: ‘Notas históricas de los maestros de capilla en la Catedral de Málaga (1641–1799)’, AnM, xx (1965), 105–60, esp. 147

A. Llordén: ‘Inventario musical de 1770 en la Catedral de Málaga’, AnM, xxiv (1969), 237–46

M. Querol: ‘El cultivo de la cantata en España y la producción musical de Juan Francés de Iribarren (1698–1767)’, Sociedad de estudios vascos: Cuadernos de sección Música, i (1983), 115–28

M. Sánchez: XVIII Century Spanish Music: Villancicos of Juan Francés de Iribarren (Pittsburgh, 1988)

D. Preciado: ‘Obras desconocidas de autores conocidos en los cantorales de Silos’, RdMc, xv (1992), 636

M. Pérez: Tres capillas musicales salmantinas: Catedralicia, Universitaria y de San Martín, durante el período 1700–1750 (diss., U. of Salamanca, 1995)

P. Larid: Towards a History of the Spanish Villancico (Warren, MI, 1997)

A. Torrente: The Sacred Villancico in Early Eighteenth-Century Spain: the Corpus of Salamanca Cathedral (diss., U. of Cambridge, 1997)



See Duparc, Elisabeth.

Franchetti, Baron Alberto

(b Turin, 18 Sept 1860; d Viareggio, 4 Aug 1942). Italian composer. He studied first with his mother, who may have been a pupil of Chopin, and then with Fortunato Magi in Venice. His first works date from this period, and were published under the pseudonym ‘Tito’. He completed his studies in Munich with Rheinberger (1881–4), and in Dresden with Draeseke and Kretschmer (1884–5). His family’s enormous wealth (his father was an important Jewish banker and his mother a Rothschild) meant that he could devote himself entirely to music, and could ensure his works were performed in the best possible circumstances. On several occasions his father, Raimondo, personally financed the premières of his son’s compositions. His first international success was with his E minor symphony, first performed in Dresden in 1884. Together with works by Sgambati and Martucci, this symphony is one of the first pieces of the so-called Italian ‘symphonic renaissance’. The only official position Franchetti held in musical life was that of director of the Florence Conservatory (1926–8). His earlier operas were highly acclaimed in their time, and the success of Asrael at La Scala (1889) led Verdi to recommend him for the task of composing the commemorative opera for the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s arrival in America, Cristoforo Colombo, which was commissioned by the city of Genoa.

Franchetti’s operas represent an original solution to several aesthetic problems of fin-de-siècle opera composition, although his attempt to blend the tradition of late Italian grand opera on historical subjects with the German influences which he assimilated during his studies now seems somewhat outdated. The eclectic libretto for Asrael (1888) by Ferdinando Fontana continued a tradition of Italian operas based on northern fairy-tales begun by Catalani, but its plot appears as a mixture of Mefistofele and Lohengrin. Nevertheless, the extended crowd scenes in hell (Act 1) and heaven (Acts 1 and 4) succeeded in impressing the public and showed Franchetti’s skill in writing effective large-scale scenes. Martucci considered Asrael ‘quite extraordinary for a young man’s first opera’. However, after the success of the first performances the opera never entered the repertory. Arguably his finest achievement is Cristoforo Colombo, on one of Illica’s earliest librettos (1892, Genoa). Although the libretto clearly reveals its models, especially Meyerbeer’s L’Africaine, it represents a marked progress towards a new view of musical theatre. The music demonstrates Franchetti’s predilection for what was known in contemporary Italian aesthetics as ‘sinfonismo’; large symphonic interludes and the complete integration of the soloists’ voices into the orchestral texture bear witness to his skill in unifying entire acts through a continuous musical discourse in the orchestra. The second act, with its two ships on stage, presented the moment of discovery, visually through new techniques of staging – under the influence of the Bayreuth Parsifal, a revolving backdrop was used – and musically through masterly use of the orchestra; it constitutes what was probably the culmination of Illica and Franchetti’s collaboration.

After a dispute with Ricordi over the libretto of Tosca, Franchetti won his greatest success with Germania. The opera received its première at La Scala under Toscanini in 1902, with Caruso in the principal role. Two years previously orchestral extracts from Germania (the intermezzo ‘In the Black Forest’) had been performed at La Scala and in Baden-Baden. This practice of presenting a ‘preview’ of new operas to the concert audience became standard with composers from Alfano to Zandonai. Though much acclaimed by the Italian public of the time, the work suffers from Franchetti’s occasional difficulties with individual characterization, but more especially from his naive attempt to create German local colour through the use of folksongs. Although there had been several attempts, by Puccini and others, to write an opera in collaboration with Gabriele D’Annunzio, it was Franchetti who wrote the first based on a play by him, La figlia di Iorio (1906, La Scala). He failed to grasp the irrational cruelty of the Abruzzese pagan society depicted in D’Annunzio’s drama. At this point Franchetti’s style became rather anachronistic, as he was well aware. His words in 1911 reveal how far his operatic ideas were rooted in 19th-century assumptions: ‘To make something new and yet remain within the old. This is my plan. By old I mean form, melody, harmony and colour all combined. In a word, music, and not the cacophony which is created now.’ His words seem to anticipate a much more violent debate 20 years later, between the modernist Casella and the traditionalist Mascagni. Franchetti began a long series of experiments which show a marked decline in musical style and underlying dramatic vision. These works range from the operetta Giove a Pompei, written in collaboration with Giordano on a posthumous libretto by Illica (1921, Rome), which Giordano described as a ‘satirodia’, to the pre-Fascist opera Glauco (1922, Naples), containing some ingredients typical of later propaganda operas on subjects connected with the glory of ancient Rome.



first performed at Milan, La Scala, unless otherwise stated; all printed works published in Milan

Asrael (leggenda, 4, F. Fontana), Reggio nell’Emilia, Municipale, 11 Feb 1888 (1888)

Cristoforo Colombo (dramma lirico, 4, epilogue, L. Illica), Genoa, Carlo Felice, 6 Oct 1892 (1893); rev. version (3, epilogue), 17 Jan 1923, I-Mr*

Fior d’Alpe (os, 3, L. di Castelnuovo), 15 March 1894 (1894)

Il signor di Pourceaugnac (op comica, 3, Fontana, after Molière), 10 April 1897 (1898)

Germania (dramma lirico, prol., 2, epilogue, Illica), 11 March 1902 (1902)

La figlia di lorio (tragedia pastorale, 3, G. D’Annunzio), 19 March 1906 (1906)

Notte di leggenda (tragedia lirica, 1, G. Forzano), 14 Jan 1915 (1915)

Giove a Pompei (operetta, 3, Illica and E. Romagnoli), Rome, Pariola, 5 July 1921, unpubd, collab. Giordano

Glauco (os, 3, Forzano), Naples, S Carlo, 8 April 1922 (1922)

Fiori del Brabante (azione coreografica), Turin, 10 Feb 1930


Unperf.: Zoroastro (Fontana), c1890; Il finto paggio (commedia musicale, Forzano), 1924; Il gonfaloniere (Forzano), 1927; Don Bonaparte, opera comica, 1941, vs (ed. A. Ferraresi, forthcoming); Moabita (idillio biblico)

other works

5 romanze (Turin, before 1880) [under pseud. ‘Tito’]

Idillio campestre (Milan, before 1880) [under pseud. ‘Tito’]

Sinfonia, e (Dresden, 1884)

Nella Foresta Nera (Milan, 1902) [extract from Germania]

Ballata di primavera, T, pf (Milan, 1915)

Ninna nanna, per la figlia Elena, c1930

Loreley, poema sinfonico

Il mattino della domenica, chorus, unpubd

Variazioni, str qt


A. Soffredini: ‘Cristoforo Colombo di Alberto Franchetti’, GMM, xlvii (1892), 651–2

G. Monaldi: ‘Rassegna musicale: per l’Asrael’, Nuova antologia, no.151 (1897), 150–60

L. Torchi: ‘Germania di Alberto Franchetti’, RMI, ix (1902), 377–421

L. Tomelleri: ‘La figlia di lorio: D’Annunzio e Franchetti’, RMI, xliii (1939), 195; repr. in Gabriele D’Annunzio e la musica (Milan, 1939)

B. Capobianchi and others: Ricordi di Alberto Franchetti (Turin, 1963)

M. Morini: ‘L’epopea dell’oceano Atlantico in un’opera sul grande Genovese: Appunti per una cronologia: Cristoforo Colombo di Franchetti’, Discoteca alta fedeltà, xv/143 (Milan, 1974), 24, 25

J. Maehder: ‘Szenische Imagination und Stoffwahl in der italienischen Oper des Fin de siècle’, Zwischen Opera buffa und Melodramma: Perspektiven der Opernforschung I: Bad Homburg 1985–7 [on Asrael, Cristoforo Colombo and Germania]

J. Budden: ‘Wagnerian Tendencies in Italian Opera’, Music and Theatre: Essays in Honour of Winton Dean (Cambridge, 1987), 299–332

R. Badalí: ‘Il Cristoforo Colombo di Alberto Franchetti’, Columbeis, iii (1988), 300–09

J. Maehder: ‘Mythologizing the Encounter – Columbus, Motecuzoma, Cortés and the Representation of the “Discovery” on the Opera Stage’, Musical Repercussions of 1492: Encounters in Text and Performance, ed. C. Robertson (Washington DC, 1992)

R. Badalí: ‘Ancora sul Cristoforo Colombo di Alberto Franchetti’, Ottocento e oltre: scritti in onore di Raoul Meloncelli (Rome, 1993), 474

A. Ferraresi: ‘Alberto Franchetti: una biografia dalle lettere’, Fonti musicali italiane, iii (1998), 215–32

A. Guarnieri Corazzol: ‘Immaginario oltremontano e realismo nazionale: il fantastico nell’opera di fine secolo’, Ruggero Leoncavallo nel suo tempo, ed. L. Guiot and J. Maehder (Milan, 1998)


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