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                 EXCELLENT CONDITION

FRANCO ALFANO - COMPOSER
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Autographed first edition score of the composer’s 1919 “Tre Poemi di Rabindrath Tagore da “Il Giardiniere” inscribed to his friend, the opera soprano Gina Ciaparelli-Viafora To sweet Signora Viafora homage of Franco Alfano, Turin 1924.  The folio score published by G. Ricordi E. C. Editori in Milan includes a decorative cover on artists stock, title page, first page of music on page 1, end page of music page 20, end page and cover.  The three poems are, “Mamma, il giovane Principe” (1-11), “Egli mormoro” 12-15 and “Par la mi amor mio” 16-20).

Alfano (1875-1954) is best known for completing Puccini’s opera “Turandot” at the composer’s sons’ request.  His opera “Cyrano de Bergerac” has been a vehicle for several important tenors including Ramon Vinay and Placido Domingo.  However, Alfano in his day was an important composer and part of the Verismo School.  He composed operas, cantatas, symphonic works, chamber works, solo works and songs.  More than half of those songs were by the Bengali polymath, poet, musician, author and playwright Rabindrath Tagore. (1861-1941)  “Tre Poemi” was Alfano’s first art song setting of Tagore’s poems. Tagore’s poems were considered to be mystical and spiritual.  Alfano was entranced by Indian mysticism and his 1952 opera “Sakuntala” was based on a 5th Century Sanskrit play.  The first performance was given on March 1, 1921 in Paris in a concert of 6 Italian composers; Alfano, Casella, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Davido, Pizzetti, and Respighi, then known as the Italian “Les Six”.  Only the first poem, was performed.  The first complete performance did not occur until April 4, 1927 at the Reale Accademia Filharmonica Roman, in Rome with the composer at the piano.

The work is performed and there are numerous recordings of all three and then each poem individually.

Gina Ciaparelli-Viafora (1881-1936) was a well known Italian lyrico-spinto soprano.  She made her professional debut at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome in 1902.  She sung throughout the Italian provincial houses, as well as Athens, Cairo and Malta. She came to American in 1907 where she married Gianni Viafora, the caricaturist for Musical America. Her husband was a close friend of fellow caricaturist Enrico Caruso and she sung Mimi to his Rodolfo 7 times between 1907-1910.  She also performed in their Sunday night concerts.  She also sung opera throughout the country and Canada and also in concert.  She opened a singing school in New York City where she taught among others the great bass Adamo Didur’s daughter Eva. She made records for Columbia and Victor in 1907 and 1908 and can be heard in the Victor recording of the “La Boheme” quartet with Caruso, Farrar and Scotti. 

This copy is lightly age tones, the cover is very lightly foxed, light red edits, otherwise a very nice example.