In search of the lost notes


When vis-à-vis with historiography, and especially the historiography of music, the scientific method comes sometimes to my mind, together with its application to Karl Popper’s historiography: if a theory is not falsifiable (questionable), then it is false.
It may be a fixation of mine, or a cognitive limit perhaps, but I simply don’t see as intellectually satisfying that we always need to find an answer when in lack of a certainty, and that said answer should be univocally accepted and agreed upon as the sole answer, just because it is uncomfortable to verify contrasting hypotheses.
Applying my obstinate approach to the historiography of music, I found myself as much in love with the Great Repertoire as I was curious about minor historical twists and turns, connections and possible influences, usually unexplored or dismissed; this led me to research those composers and works, seldom programmed by artistic institutions, that partially or largely contributed to the existence of the more renowned composers and works.

I have to admit that searching for “alternative” repertoire is becoming for me increasingly exciting. If the first accidental discovery, Haydn’s Stabat Mater, left me in enthusiastic awe, equally absorbing was my encounter with Boccherini: an often underrated composer, in fact, with his audacious harmonic and compositional choices, his expressivity and his style, he scores Italian classical masterpieces most appreciated even by the imperial Vienna of the late seventeenth hundreds. It is not by accident that a mutual friendship, as their letters prove, connected Boccherini and Haydn to the point that they often exchanged and borrowed from each other musical material! Furthermore, if the majority of Boccherini’s instrumental output is well known, his vocal scores are less familiar: the vocal refinement in some of his concert arias markedly foreshadows subsequent historical developments. The performance of Boccherini’s Stabat Mater, featuring Barbara Frittoli, and of the symphony he later drew from for a new drafting of that same piece, was the occasion for my first Sony produced record in 2009.