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Subject: Re: [Fwd: Re: Verter?]
From: john mccormick <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:john mccormick <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 16 Aug 2008 17:35:29 -0400

text/plain (38 lines)

    I find this mention of Johann Simon Mayr fascinating. Information such 
as this is one of the many marvels of this forum (along with the various 
requests that come up for information and/or help on a variety of 
subjects.)--lest we forget--it is a real treasure.
    My interest in Johann, or Giovanni Simone Mayr, stems from my interest 
in guitar-accompanied song from the late 18th and early 19th centuries. 
Although Mayr wrote very little for this combination, he was an avid 
collector of the music of his contemporaries. He is said to have stated on 
more than one occasion that he learned more from studying the music of other 
composers on his own than he did in school. Consequently, he collected a lot 
of music, virtually all of which is now housed in Biblioteca Angelo Mai, the 
public library in Bergamo. A few years ago, my wife and I took a trip there 
and spent some time in the library. It turns out that he collected a fair 
amount of music for voice and guitar, including works by Garcia and Matteo 
Bevilaqua. He was also, indeed, a versatile and prolific composer, turning 
out not only a tremendous amount of liturgical music (he played the organ, 
along with one of his pupils, Donizetti, in the main church there), in 
addition to roughly 80 operas. He is also credited by some as having greatly 
expanded the concept of orchestration in opera, since previously most 
orchestration in operatic writing was somewhat limited. He also lived to a 
ripe old age (his 80's), and in spite of having developed cataracts, he 
remained active until his death. It makes one wonder whatever happened to 
interest in his compositions, operatic or otherwise. I'm wondering whether 
there may be others on this list with similar curiosities concerning the 
music of Mayr.

John McCormick

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