Print

Giacomo Monzino

(1772-1854)

guitarist and publisher from Milan

G. Monzino Giacomo Antonio Monzino was born in Milan in 1772; he was a skillful guitarist and composer for guitar, whose activity was confined, presumably, to north Italy for all his life. About him there exists little biographical information. He was the son of Antonio Monzino, one of the most popular stringed instrument makers and dealers in Milan; Antonio was already in this trade by the second half of Eighteenth Century. Giacomo learned the study of violin and composition in his home city, but he also expressed an interest in and devoted some time to guitar study, under his father's guidance. He was employed in his father's firm in the early 1800's to learn the family trade, but he did not stay in the business for a long time. He preferred to entrust the responsibility of his firm to a qualified worker, and to devote all his time to the study of literature and composition for the guitar.

He started his business as editor in the first year of the Nineteenth Century, aiming at the publication and promulgation of the guitar music mainly of local composers. This activity flourished for at least 20 years, and he contributed significantly to the development of the guitar repertoire, in competition with other great publishers in Milan. Also in the short span of a few years he composed his best works, which were inserted in the first catalogue of printed music of the firm, dated 1813. After this period he studied and taught the mandolin. He died in Milan in 1854 (some sources say 1845).

It is possible today to make quite a detailed survey of Monzino's surviving musical production; it comprises 18 opus numbers, not only for solo guitar, but also for flute or violin and guitar, and for voice and guitar.

Looking in more detail at his work, we see that worth mentioning are the Duets for flute or violin and guitar Op.13 and 15, the Sinfonia for flute and guitar, (no opus), the Serenade Op.3, always for flute or violin and guitar, which was published by Giovanni Re, one of the most renowned engravers in Milan, in collaboration with the Garegnani Brothers.

Appreciable among the works for solo guitar are the Sonatina Op.1; Ten Preludes and Rondo Op.2; Pastorale Op.9; Rondò Op.4; the Variations Op.10 & 16; Sinfonia Op.6; Three Sonatas Op.8 and the Sonata Op.11. Other short works for guitar have didactic value, among which are worth mentioning the Divertimenti Op.14, which were republished several times, as well as the Twelve Monferrine and Six Waltzes Op.5, 7 e 12, published by the editor Giovanni Ricordi in about 1810.

A special mention must be made of some Cavatine for voice and guitar based on Operas of Orlandi and Raj, (no opus number), and a method for guitar, entitled Metodo con Principi elementari di musica Op.18, that contained a "Regola dimostrativa del manico della chitarra&148; ("Demonstrative rule for the guitar neck").

Moreover there are in several Italian libraries some other short works by Monzino for solo guitar, voice and guitar, manuscripts, and his only duet for two guitars (with no opus nor editorial references).

(Transl. M. Penny)

Giacomo Monzino's Catalogue of Printed Edition

Title Opus no.
Ensemble Edition Year
Sonatina 1 guitar A.Monzino ~1807
Dieci Preludi e un Rondò 2 guitar A.Monzino ~1808
Serenata 3 fl. (vl.) & guitar G.Re/F.lli Garegnani ~1808
Rondò 4 guitar A.Monzino ~1808
12 Monferrine e 6 Valtz 5 guitar A.Monzino ~1808
Sinfonia 6 guitar G.Re/F.lli Garegnani ~1807
12 Monf.,6 Contr.,6 Valtz 7 guitar A.Monzino ~1809
3 Sonate 8 guitar A.Monzino ~1809
Pastorale 9 guitar A.Monzino ~1809
Variazioni sopra un tema nel
Ballo Cesare in Egitto
10 guitar A.Monzino ~1809
Sonata 11 guitar G.Ricordi ~1809
12 Monferrine e 6 Valtz 12 guitar G.Ricordi ~1809
Duetto 13 fl. (vl.) & guitar A.Monzino ~1810
Dieci Divertimenti 14 guitar A.Monzino/G.Re ~1810
3 Duetti 15 fl. (vl.) & guitar A.Monzino/G.Re ~1811
Variazioni 16 guitar A.Monzino ~1812
6 Sonatine facili 17 guitar A.Monzino ~1813
Metodo per chitarra e Principi Elementari di Musica con diverse Sonatine 18 guitar A.Monzino ~1813
Regola dimostrativa del manico della chitarra - - A.Monzino ~1813
Sinfonia da Orlandi - fl. (vl.) & guitar A.Monzino ~1809
6 Controdanze - guitar G.Ricordi ~1809
9 Preludi con lezioni progr. - guitar A.Monzino ~1813
Cavatina Dai perigli e dagli affanni da Raj, ridotta con accompagnamento di chitarra - voice and guitar A.Monzino ~1813
Cavatina La vedovella senza marito, da Orlandi, ridotta con accompagnamento di chitarra - voice and guitar A.Monzino ~1813

Catalogue of Other Manuscript Compositions

Title
Titolo
Ensemble
Organico
Reference
Fonte
Duetto/per due chitarre di/Giacomo Monzino
Manuscript copy. Beginning of XIX cent., parts, cm.23x34 obl., Andante con espressione 3/8 la magg., Polacca (allegretto) 3/4 la magg. At the bottom of the frontespice, on right we read: Pacifico Bernetti
two guitars Bibl.Casanatese (Roma)
[Anima mia consolami Cavatina del Sig. Giacomo Monzino] in: N.4/Cavatine con/Chitarra/del/Sig.Pietro Guglielmi e altri
Manuscript copy, beginning of XIX cent., scores, cm.23x35 obl.. Andante 2/4 la magg.
voice and guitar State Library Mozzi-Borgetti (Macerata)
Cavatina/del Sig.re Benedetto Neri/Chi vuol la bella rosa/con accompagnamento di chitarra di Giacomo Monzino
Manuscript copy, beginning of XIX cent., scores, cm.23x35 obl., Allegretto 3/8 sol magg. At the bottom of the frontespice, on right we read: Mademoiselle Nannette Menz
voice and guitar Archive Toggenburg (Bolzano)
Cavatina/del Sig.re Simone Mayer/Chi dice mal d'amore/con accompagnamento di chitarra di Giacomo Monzino
Manuscript copy, beginning of XIX cent., scores, cm.23x35 obl., Andante agitato 6/8 sol magg. At the bottom of the frontespice, on right we read: Mademoiselle Nannette Menz.
voice and guitar Archive Toggenburg (Bolzano)
Sinfonia/ridotta per due chitarre/di Giacomo Monzino
Manuscript copy, beginning of XIX cent., one part, cm.24x35 obl., Largo 4/4 la magg., Allegro assai 4/4 la magg.
two guitars Musical Library O.P.Greggianti (Ostiglia)
Sinfonia di Meyerbeer/ridotta per due chitarre/da Monzino
Manuscript copy, end XVIII cent.- beginning XIX cent., scores, cm.33x23, 4/4 re magg.
two guitars Casanatese Library (Roma)

Bibliography notes