On 13 June great American musicologist Philip Gossett passed away in Chicago. Gossett was one of the architects of what was a real revolution in the world of opera, that of the so-called ‘critical edition’, namely the reworking , based on the sources, of the operas of Bellini, Donizetti, Rossini, Verdi. A work which brought to a new way of reading and performing the great operas of the Italian tradition, abandoning sedimented and improper performing habits and rediscovering the original text of the author. Whether such a method (brilliantly discussed in Divas and Scholars, The University of Chicago Press, 2006) is accepted or not, nobody can deny the genius of the man, his rigour, the exceptional skills that brought him to collaborate with the most important world directors and with the most prestigious productions. I met such an extraordinary figure in the years of my doctorate in musicology at the University of Rome and I have a great memory of him: that of a generous and available person. We became friends and we saw each other frequently until, getting worse, he retired in Chicago. Still then, we kept in touch via mail (our last contact dates back to March and still he was prodigal of advice for me). I want to remember him here as one of the best and important people I have met in the last years together with Sheila Whiteley, who taught popular music at the University of Salford (another person to whom I owe a lot and who died too soon some years ago). In my imagery they are connected, although they did not know each other, as representative of that open Anglo-Saxon mentality, devoid of provincialism and favouritism, oriented towards the real development of the knowledge and not to the consolidation of positioning and nepotism. Fare Thee Well, Philip.
Nota has just published the book Perspectives on a 21st Century Comparative Ethnomusicology: Ethnomusicology or Transcultural Musicology?, edited by Giovanni Giuriati e Francesco Giannattasio, with my essay (in English): Songs and the City. Itinerant musicians as Living “Song Libraries” at the Beginning of the 20th Century in Naples: the ‘Posteggiatori’. More details in the “Partnesrships and Essays” section.
Here is the paperback edition of Legacies of Ewan MacColl, that I edited with Allan F. Moore. It includes the interview I picked from him in 1987 and 1988 (the last and the longest he gave in his life) and some critical essays.
In the ‘reviews ‘ section the recording of a programme broadcast by BBC Ulster on 2 January about Ewan MacColl and my book ‘Legacies of Ewan MacColl’.
Happy new year!
‘Legacies’ is out, at last, although at a very expensive price. Hope they will put out a cheaper edition soon!
‘Legacies of Ewan MacColl’, my book edited with Allan F. Moore, is coming soon… it will contain a number of critical essays but, most of all, the latest and longest interview Ewan ever released and that I recorded in 1987 and 1988!