(b Mantua; fl 1605–30). Italian composer. He is known to have been in the service of the Gonzagas at Mantua before 1605 and to have held the post of maestro di cappella of Forlì Cathedral in 1611. By October 1612 he had returned to Mantua to become maestro di cappella of the ducal chapel of S Barbara. He retained this post until October 1630 except for a brief period between November 1627 and April 1628, during which he was replaced by G.F. Anerio. Franzoni was a Servite father and a member of the Accademia Olimpica of Vicenza.
The influence of Mantuan colleagues, especially Monteverdi, is discernible in Franzoni’s three books of Fioretti musicali. The handling of instrumental ritornellos and the rhythmic vivacity of much of the vocal writing in the third book seem to have been directly inspired by Monteverdi’s Scherzi musicali, and the use of falsobordonepassages in Si rid’amor and Ecco l’alba rugiadosa (both in the second book) is reminiscent of Viadana’s work. Among his church music the vesper psalms (1619) display particularly striking Monteverdian influences. Written for eight voices disposed in two choirs, many of these also make extensive use of falsobordone passages (indeed, some consist of little else). The collection is dedicated to Anna Giulia Gonzaga, Archduchess of Austria, and ends with two Magnificat settings.
printed works published in Venice, unless otherwise stated
Concerti ecclesiastici, 1–3vv, bc (org), libro primo (1611)
Apparato musicale di messa, sinfonie, canzoni, motetti, & letanie della Beata Vergine, 8vv, b, op.5, libro primo (1613)
Messe e letanie della B. Vergine, 8vv, bc (org), libro secondo (Mantua, 16141)
Sacra omnium solemnitatum vespertina psalmodia cum cantico B. Virginis, 6, 8vv, org (1619)
Messe, 5vv, bc ad lib, op.10 (1623)
Qual hora in senti miro, madrigal, 1v, bc (chit), in 16133
Audi Domine, 4vv, bc (org), in 16184
I nuovi fioretti musicali, 3vv, bc (hpd/chit) (160512)
Il secondo libro delle fioretti musicali, 3vv, bc (hpd/chit) (1607)
Il terzo libro delli fioretti musicali, 3vv, bc, con alcune arie, 1–2vv, bc (1617)
Sogno o pur son desto, madrigal, 5vv, 161610
W. Osthoff: ‘Unità liturgicae artistica nei “Vespri” del 1610’, RIM, ii (1967), 314–27 esp.321
D.Arnold and N. Fortune, eds.: The Monteverdi Companion (London, 1968, 2/1985 as The New Monteverdi Companion), 117–18, 123
P.M.Tagmann: ‘La cappella dei maestri cantori della basilica palatina di Santa Barbara a Mantova (1565–1630): nuovo materiale scoperto negli archivi mantovani’, Civiltà mantovana, iv (1970), 376–400
Downbeat. See alsoAnalysis, §II, 2.
(b Pavia, 16 Feb 1816; d Naples, 23 May 1887). Italian tenor. He studied in Pavia with Moretti and made his début there in 1837 as Tamas in Donizetti’s Gemma di Vergy. In 1839 he sang in Torquato Tasso at Bergamo and in 1840 in Marino Faliero at La Scala. Engaged at the S Carlo, Naples, from 1840 to 1853 he sang in the first performances of Pacini’s Saffo, La fidanzata corsa, La stella di Napoli, La regina di Cipro, Merope and Romilda di Provenza. He created Gerardo in Caterina Cornaro (1844); other Donizetti operas in which he sang included Linda di Chamounix, Maria di Rohan, La favorite, Poliuto and Lucia di Lammermoor. He was dubbed the ‘tenore della maledizione’ because of the force with which he delivered Edgardo’s curse in Lucia, and was noted above all as an early tenore di forza.
He was chosen by Verdi to create Zamoro in Alzira (1845, Naples), Corrado in Il corsaro (1848, Trieste), Arrigo in La battaglia di Legnano (1849, Rome) and the title role of Stiffelio (1850, Trieste). He also appeared in Oberto, Ernani, I Lombardi, I masnadieri, Luisa Miller and Il trovatore. In 1856 he sang Henri in Les vêpres siciliennes at Rome, in 1858 Gabriele Adorno in Simon Boccanegraat Naples, and he created Riccardo in Un ballo in maschera (1859, Rome). It is a commentary on his technique and taste that, after so many forceful roles, he could still be expected to sing with the refinement and elegance necessary for Riccardo’s music. He sang in the first London performance of I due Foscari at Her Majesty’s Theatre (1847), in La forza del destino at Madrid (1863), and La traviata and Rigoletto at the Théâtre Italien, Paris (1864). He made his last appearance as Gennaro in Lucrezia Borgia at Rome in 1873 when, though in his late fifties, he still retained the firmness and security of his voice.
ES (R. Celleti)
G.Monaldi: Cantanti celebri del secolo XIX (Rome, 1929)
H.Weinstock: Donizetti (New York, 1963)
J.Budden: The Operas of Verdi, i: From ‘Oberto’ to ‘Rigoletto’ (London, 1973), ii: From ‘Il trovatore’ to ‘La forza del destino’ (London, 1978)