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Giovanni Battista Riccio is one of the many organists and composers living between the end of the 16th century and the start of the 17th, who were probably quite well known during their lifetime and who, after falling into oblivion following their death, today deserve to be studied more deeply. Residing in Venice alongside more prominent figures such as Giovanni Gabrieli, Claudio Monteverdi, and Alessandro Grandi, Riccio has left us three substantial collections of sacred music in the modern concertato style with some instrumental compositions printed (or reprinted) between 1612 and 1620. Among these Il secondo libro delle divine lodi (1614), the object of the present edition, has come down to us incomplete, since a part-book is missing.
Il secondo libro delle divine lodi contains a total of 28 compositions, of which 21 are vocal and 7 instrumental. Because of the lack of one separate part, 5 vocal compositions and 2 instrumental ones come down to us incomplete.
The present critical edition, realised with the contribution of the University of Padua and the Department of Cultural Heritage, is one of the results of a multi-year project devoted to the analysis, the critical edition and the reconstruction of incomplete polyphony, carried out by a research group of the Department of Cultural Heritage. It was born from the belief that musical analysis, which in turn represents the main prerequisite for the reconstruction of incomplete polyphony, should be grounded on a critically investigated musical text.
Throughout all the phases of the work, the editors of the compositions, Chiara Comparin and Gabriele Taschetti, and the author of the introductory essay, Marina Toffetti, constantly worked in collaboration to ensure the greatest methodological homogeneity. The outcome of the edition is therefore the fruit of individual work – to the extent that it is possible to assign each editor his/her own portion of work –, but at the same time is based on common theoretical premises and on the application of widely shared methodological criteria. The hypothesis for the reconstruction of the missing part in the seven incomplete compositions proposed here, made by Gabriele Taschetti, represents plausible and organic solution to the technical-stylistic problems of harmony and counterpoint, without ruling out that in the future other plausible solutions might arise from a different stylistic perception or from new analytical investigations.
To facilitate this kind of reconstruction, an editable digital version of the score of the incomplete compositions (nos. 13–19) is available HERE (.musicxml): 13.Ave Domine, 14.Dilectus meus, 15.Hic est panis, 16.Ego sum panis vivus, 17.Exultat Maria, 18.Sonata a 4, 19.Canzon a 4.