Ut Orpheus, now distributed by Alkor

The rental material of the renowned music publisher Ut Orpheus Edizioni will now be distributed worldwide by Alkor-Edition, with the exception of Italy. The attractive catalogue, dedicated primarily to early music, includes the complete editions of Francesco Geminiani, Luigi Boccherini and Muzio Clementi.

Ut Orpheus Edizioni is a music publishing house which was founded in 1993 in Bologna, its headquarters being situated in the historic centre of this city where also its own specialized music bookshop – the Libreria Musicale Ut Orpheus – is to be found. The catalogue comprises over 2,000 titles, including scores of early, classical and contemporary music, books and journals.

A large part of its publications consists of formerly unpublished works by known or unknown composers issued in meticulous scholarly-critical Urtext editions. Notable projects include the critical “Opera Omnia” editions of works by Luigi Boccherini (portrait), Muzio Clementi and Francesco Geminiani.

Luigi Boccherini’s orchestral works – all available on hire – comprise two Sinfonie concertanti, 15 “Arie accademiche” for voice and orchestra on texts by Metastasio (including “Se d’un amor tiranno” for soprano and violoncello concertante) and “Clementina”, a zarzuela in two acts on a libretto by Ramón de la Cruz.
Muzio Clementi’s Piano Concerto as well as his Sinfonias Nos. 1 and 4 have been published in new Urtext editions. The Sinfonias incorporate a missing part which has been reconstructed.

Also noteworthy are the critical edition of Francesco Geminiani’s music for the pantomime “The Enchanted Forest” and the complete edition (shortly to be brought to conclusion) of his more than 30 Concerti Grossi. As pointed out by Maestro Christopher Hogwood, founder of the Geminiani series: “Although held to be the equal of Corelli in his own day – and indeed thought by some to be superior to his contemporary Handel in instrumental composition – a surprisingly large proportion of his compositions have never been reissued since his lifetime … The lack of availability of his music in scrupulous modern editions designed for practical performance has concealed the enormous originality he showed both in writing and re-writing his own music, and that of his teacher, Corelli”.

The series “Napoli e l‘Europa” is devoted to critical editions of unpublished works and oratorios of the Neapolitan school. Parts of this repertoire were selected and performed by Maestro Riccardo Muti together with the Orchestra Giovanile Luigi Cherubini at the Salzburg Festival, the Ravenna Festival and other prestigious venues between 2007 and 2012.

As Maestro Muti underlined in his general preface to the series, “the recovery of the great repertoire of the Neapolitan School of music that dominated Europe in the 18th century and exerted a strong influence on opera and symphony including Mozart’s works, enriches our knowledge of musical culture and allows us to better appreciate the roots from which the 19th century was developed. … The warmth and attention which have been afforded everywhere to these productions of the Neapolitan School point to the public’s readiness to receive elements of musical history that are not the well-known masterpieces”. The series includes works by Johann Adolf Hasse (“I Pellegrini al Sepolcro di Nostro Signore”), Niccolò Jommelli (“Betulia liberata”, “Demofoonte”), Saverio Mercadante (“I due Figaro”, “Francesca da Rimini”), Giovanni Paisiello (“Missa Defunctorum”), Nicola Porpora (“Il Trionfo della Divina Giustizia”), Alessandro Scarlatti (“Il Giardino di Rose”, “La Vergine Addolorata”) and Leonardo Vinci (“Oratorio di Maria dolorata”, “Oratorio per la Madonna del Rosario”).

The series “Tesori Musicali Emiliani“ offers a critical edition of  music by Emilian composers, Emilian by birth or by adoption, who were active in the 17th and 18th century. The music is of great interest from a historical, stylistic and performing perspective as expressed by renowned international musicians and musicologists. Within the manifold musical genres offered, particularly noteworthy are the oratorios and liturgical music by composers such as Giovanni Paolo Colonna (“L’Assalonne”, “La caduta di Gierusalemme sotto l’imperio di Sedecia”, “La profezia d’Eliseo nell’assedio di Samaria”), Giovanni Battista Bassani (“Giona”), Domenico Gabrielli, Giacomo Antonio Perti and Giovanni Battista Martini. Such works bear witness to the success of the music within fraternal orders and princely courts, and demonstrate the scope and theatricality of the technical and artistic resources which were used in the musical chapels at that time.

The Ut Orpheus hire music catalogue also contains other stalwart orchestral and choral works, which include:

  • “Il Nabucco” (1683) and “Il Diluvio Universale” (1682), two oratorios by the Italian baroque composer and Catholic priest Michelangelo Falvetti, who for many years was Maestro di cappella in Palermo and Messina;
  • the intermezzo “Serpilla e Bacocco” (1715) by Giuseppe Maria Orlandini (on a libretto by Antonio Salvi that was later used by Cherubini for “Il Giocatore”). This is one of the most popular examples of its genre and counts as one of the most enduring and successful works of the 18th century Italian dramatic repertoire;
  • a newly discovered Mass in D major by Niccolò Piccinni from manuscripts held in the Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal in Lisbon;
  • the fine interpretation of Alessandro Scarlatti’s Six Harpsichord Concertos by Ottavio Dantone which is based on the manuscript MS Add. 32431 from the British Library of London. It contains only the keyboard part but includes cues for Solo and Tutti. These concertos are available as a Decca CD recording.

Ut Orpheus
(August 2022)