Giovanni Paolo Bottesini as a composer for the tenor voice, as seen in his writing for Roberto Stagno, Angelo Masini, and Alberto Bozetti
Brent, Joseph Michael
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This essay is a supplement to a lecture-recital featuring ten selected vocal works for the tenor voice composed by the double bassist Giovanni Paolo Bottesini (1821-1889). The intent of this multi-modal project is to showcase seldom heard art songs and arias of Bottesini. Attention is drawn to his compositions for the tenor voice in order to demonstrate his skill as a song and opera composer. The essay and lecture-recital focus on five of Bottesini’s songs and five of his arias written for professional tenor voices. These ten selections will provide an overview of Bottesini’s compositional style and reveal the quality of his music for the tenor voice. In addition, the ten pieces by Bottesini highlight the vocal strengths of three specific light lyric tenors: Roberto Stagno (1840-1897), Angelo Masini (1844-1926), and Alberto Bozetti (182?-1887). The vocal profiles for Stagno, Masini, and Bozetti are based on the vocal features in compositions written for them: Stagno's profile comes from Pietro Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana (1890), and Masini's profile comes from Giuseppe Verdi's Falstaff (1893) The examination of these ten selections suggests that Bottesini was a first-rate song and operatic composer who tailored his writing to the particular strengths and limitations of his individual tenors, and therefore the entire body of his vocal works warrants greater attention.