Author: Parker, Mara
Date published: March 1, 2012
Journal code: PMUN
All of Carlo Graziani's (d. 1787) published sonatas for cello and basso, issued in three sets of six, were written during the second half of the eighteenth century, the heyday of the galant sonata.1 All bear the standard structural and stylistic characteristics one might expect from works of this type: three movements in a fast-slow-fast sequence, a limited number of accidentals in the key signatures, an emphasis on figuration, short phrases of two or four bars, lyrical melodies, dotted rhythms including the Scotch snap, interruption of duple surface rhythms with triplet passages, contrasts of articulation, and a marked absence of polyphony.2 Despite their similarities, one can distinguish among these sonatas based on their probable function-personal promotion, pedagogy, or performance. While the sonatas of opus 3 fall into the second and third categories, Graziani's opera 1 and 2 fit into the first, and to a lesser extent, the second. Further distinction is achieved if one considers their likely place of use-public or private. The works themselves, and the circumstances that surround their publication reflect, in part, the composer's acknowledgment of the growing separation between the spheres of public and private music making, that of the professional and amateur musician. Furthermore, while Graziani intended his opera 1 and 2 for public consumption-either professional performance or purchase by the amateur cellist-the later works were oriented, primarily, toward the private use of his final patron, Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia (1744-1797; reigned 1786-1797). These sonatas, then, written at different points of the cellist's life and for a variety of reasons, serve as a set of musical snapshots of Graziani's career and the decisions he made in order to further it.
Graziani most likely moved from his native Asti to Paris during the mid-to-late 1750s. While some argue that he arrived earlier, in the 1740s, a case can be made for the later date.3 In a sworn affidavit, dated 5 Sep - tember 1764, Graziani stated that he began working for Alexandre-Jean- Joseph Le Riche de la Pouplinière almost immediately upon his arrival in Paris. Moreover, he describes himself as serving exclusively as first cellist in La Pouplinière's ensemble: "Hardly had I arrived in Paris when M. de la Pouplinière invited me to become first cellist in his music, where I lived until his death with a very comfortable salary and much above what he had so far given musicians on that instrument."4 With the exception of one extended period between 1748 and 1751, La Poupli - nière hosted weekly concerts until his death in 1762; these musical events were renowned throughout Paris. The interruption, due to a family scandal,5 along with Graziani's own statement of continuous employment suggests that the cellist began his tenure after the resumption of concert activities, that is, in the 1750s. It seems highly unlikely that La Pouplinière would have maintained his orchestra during the hiatus; moreover, there is no evidence that Graziani worked for anyone else until after his patron's death.
A second point to keep in mind is that on 14 December 1758, Graziani obtained a ten-year general privilège for instrumental music.6 A privilège, or "permission to print," was usually valid for five to ten years; during that time, a composer had sole rights. No other publisher could issue his own edition without the composer's express permission. In theory, a privilège was similar to copyright protection; in reality, its benefits were limited, and many composers chose simply not to obtain one. Consequently, it was a haphazard and ineffective tool.
Graziani's opus 1 set of sonatas, appearing ca. 1761,7 are dedicated to the "Eccellenza il Conte d'Oginski." Graziani identifies himself as "Carlo Graziani, Astigiano." The conte d'Oginski is probably Michael Kazimierz Oginski (1728-1800), the Grand Hetman of Lithuania.8 That the dedicatee is Oginski rather than La Pouplinière, Graziani's first Parisian patron, suggests that opus 1 was written prior to the cellist having secured stable employment. Of further interest is the fact that Graziani identifies himself with his Italian hometown, rather than with his newly adopted place of residence.
It is quite possible that Graziani had composed his opus 1 sonatas prior to establishing himself in La Pouplinière's orchestra. One might speculate that perhaps the cellist-composer intended to use this collection as a means by which he could introduce himself to Parisian society, primarily as a virtuoso performer.9 Publication of the set would serve a different function, for Graziani would have gained further exposure to that same population as a composer of sonatas. While not excessively difficult, the sonatas are certainly not pedagogical in intent. The large and varied technical requirements of the cello part reinforce this point. Throughout the six sonatas one finds string crossings and bariolage, arpeggios, rapid passagework and figuration (especially in the upper register), double and triple stops, broken chords, scalar passages, advanced bowing techniques (especially up-bow staccato), and extended passages calling for both natural and artificial harmonics. One distinguishing feature between this collection and the later publications is the use of multiple C clefs. Only in his opus 1 does Graziani make use of the soprano, mezzo-soprano, and alto clefs as opposed to the now more common tenor clef. By his later sonatas, Graziani confined himself to the more "readable" bass and treble clefs, perhaps in deference to amateurs, students, and potential purchasers of his music.
The typical range of these compositions is approximately three octaves. 10 In general, Graziani makes use of the upper two strings, with an overwhelming emphasis on the neck positions. Notes on the lower strings are used sparingly, in those circumstances when the composer needs to ground the tonality, as a contrasting note in a triplet or arpeggio passage, or as the opening or closing of a scale. Thus the general emphasis is on virtuosic figuration placed strategically on that part of the instrument that will project to a listening audience rather than on either the lyrical, legato qualities of the instrument or the rich, lower sonority. By eschewing the lower register, Graziani ensures that the listener will easily differentiate between the solo and the basso lines.
To maintain the separation of parts, Graziani carefully distinguishes between the accompanimental nature of the basso, with its regular, almost plodding surface rhythms, repeated pitches, and Alberti bass-like movement, and the ornate and soloistic nature of the cello, with its constantly changing melodic material, figuration, and rhythms. Further distinction of the two parts is enhanced by the complete separation of registers. For the most part, the basso line is restricted to a two-octave range, primarily below middle C. Only rarely does the line move to the e or f above, and even here, the basso is pitched well below the solo line. Should the former be rendered by a second cellist, it could be played, with generally one exception per sonata, entirely in first position.
The one exception to the above occurs in the fantasia-like middle movement of the fourth sonata. In this Cantabile, Graziani moves from idea to idea with little concern for thematic or formal organization. Rather, he offers a series of melodic figures over simple harmonies that allow the cellist to meander about the instrument alternating between scalar passages, triadic and arpeggiated snippets, and pitch repetition. The less-structured layout seems to call for a change in the relationship between the two voices. Here we find a much greater amount of interplay than is typical of this collection. While the difference in skill requirements is maintained between the two parts, Graziani includes a number of duet passages that provide structure and a set of reference points for the movement. In two primary spots, Graziani's integration of the two parts heralds the close of a phrase and the start of a new section. For example, mm. 1-8, which form the opening passage, begin with a highly dominant cello and purely supportive basso, whose function is to provide a steady harmonic framework, changing each half measure (mm. 1-4). While the harmonic rhythm remains the same for the ensuing three measures, the surface rhythm of the cello slows considerably. The sustained double stops of the upper part are contrasted with the lower one's unfolding triads set in eighth notes, resulting in a composite line that provides a series of dominant and secondary dominant chords leading to a cadence in m. 8, a return to a faster-moving cello, and the close of the phrase (see fig. 1).
This same type of interplay and structural highlighting occurs in mm. 19 and 20. The melodic and rhythmic give-and-take between the two voices stands in stark contrast to the preceding measures with their emphasis on a florid cello. Again, as with cadence of the opening eight-bar phrase which is announced via the cello-basso duet, this chamber-like moment heralds the cadence in m. 21 and the return to material (m. 22) reminiscent of the movement's beginning (see fig. 2).
Like the sonatas of many of his contemporaries, nearly all the movements from Graziani's opus 1 are laid out in either binary or complex-binary form. Each is treated in a similar fashion from sonata to sonata, but these works are structurally less uniform than will be found in the two later publications. The more complex binary first and, usually, last movements will serve as an illustration. The opening section (A) offers the listener a series of short ideas presented in a variety of ways: material for immediate repetition, as a melodic sequence, or simply pieced together in patchwork fashion. By the close of this portion, Graziani will have moved from the tonic to the dominant (or tonic minor to relative major). The second half generally begins with a recollection of the opening A material (varying from three to seventeen measures) before moving into a section of technical display for the cello set against an unstable harmonic background, nearly always including a temporary move to the submediant. In the later publications the referential material will be more predictable, generally eight to ten measures. The recapitulatory section (A') is distinguished by a return to the tonic and wholesale repetition of much of the opening A section. While this is a general map of the outer movements for all three of his publications, Graziani does not strictly adhere to it in his opus 1. For example, both the first and final movements of Sonata no. 5 make no reference to the A material in their central contrasting sections.
Graziani also makes use of other structures, particularly in his middle movements: two are laid out in an AA' form (the second movements of nos. 2 and 3) while a third is a fantasia.11 Last movements offer other structural possibilities. The closing movement of the fourth sonata is a rondeau, a form that will make more frequent appearances in the later collections. The last sonata of the collection appropriately concludes with a theme and variations allowing the composer to reveal, in increased stages of virtuosity, his complete command of his instrument.
This third movement, a theme and seven variations in D major, is a compendium of technical possibilities for the cello, and serves as an excellent illustration of how this first publication might well have served Graziani as a vehicle to display his technical prowess. The eighteenmeasure theme, in binary structure, is characterized by periodic phrasing and simple harmonies; the latter is highlighted both by the basso line as well as the broken arpeggios in the cello part. Having established a regular framework, Graziani is free to move through a series of increasingly demanding variations.
Variation 1 features the cello part set in triadic movement. The disjunct motion of the line is contrasted with its steady eighth-note surface rhythm. Variation 2, all in triplets, maintains the triadic movement when the part ascends, but adds descending scalar motion as well. Variation 3, while continuing to highlight triadic and scalar motion, is now set completely in sixteenth-notes, thus necessitating precise string crossings and changes of position, all at a rapid pace, while at the same time attending to continuously varying bow requirements. Variation 4 is labeled "armonico," requiring clean execution of both natural and artificial harmonics throughout. Graziani reduces the surface rhythm to one much closer to the opening melody, thereby allowing for the projection of the harmonics. Added grace notes and double stops provide interest and variety, ensuring that the listener does not mistake this variation for a reiteration of the theme. The next variation emphasizes rhythm. The basso part, up to now a simple repetition of its opening eighteen measures, is set in a staccato eighth-note plus eighth-rest pattern while the cello plays continuous offbeats, outlining arpeggios and broken chords. Variation 6, all in double stops, requires the cellist to negotiate thirds and sixths in the upper register of the instrument. While seemingly sedate due to the slower surface rhythm, the composer simply trades finger speed for increased requirements of coordination and accuracy of intonation. The final variation consists of a series of triple and quadruple stops. While not written out as such, it is quite likely that this variation would have been executed as a series of broken chords, and thus would have required clean and rapid string crossings, accuracy of intonation within a chordal framework, and continuous change of position. Thus it serves as an appropriate climax to a movement that features a continuous increase of technical and endurance requirements, and most likely as a vehicle with which Graziani could demonstrate his own substantial skill (see fig. 3).
Graziani's second privilège was awarded on 2 October 1760.12 This may well be for his opus 2 sonatas,13 which were issued by Le Menu, although the works do not appear to be in print until 1772, a date that falls outside the ten-year protection period offered by a privilège. Le Menu, publisher of both opera 1 and 2, had an office in the rue du Roule, "à la clef d'or," during the years 1757-74; this same address is given on the title page of opus 2. Of interest is the fact that until Le Menu's 1772 catalog, one finds no listing of opus 1 at all. The two collections were priced at "7 liv., 4 sol." and both continued to be advertised in the publisher's catalog up through 1788.14
Like the first collection, this one bears a dedication not to a French patron but to the elector of Bavaria, Maximilien Joseph III (1727-1777; reigned 1745-1777). One might argue that the 1760 privilège is suggestive of an earlier publication date, perhaps from Graziani's Parisian period. This seems unlikely, though, when one considers that on 26 May 1763, just prior to Graziani's move to London, François-Joseph Gossec, at the request of the cellist and another musician formerly in La Pouplinière's employ,15 had visited Jean-François Sirebeau to ask that the seals affixed by La Pouplinière be lifted from certain works by the three composers. Apparently the deceased French patron had been an avid collector of compositions, particularly of those in his employ. Among these works were Graziani's opus 1 sonatas. No mention is made of any additional compositions by the Italian composer.16 Moreover, the decision to dedicate the opus 2 sonatas, not to either a French or British patron but to a potential German one, suggests that Graziani was looking to Germany as a future place of employment. It is possible that Graziani composed his opus 2 sonatas during his sojourn in London as cellist in the King's Theatre in Haymarket during the 1763-64 season or slightly thereafter. The earlier application for a privilège may well have been in anticipation of newly composed sonatas, ones that were not yet conceived or ready for print.
In contrast to opus 1, the opus 2 sonatas offer something for both the less skilled and highly skilled cellist. As such, they appear to be directed toward a commercial base. The first four sonatas, written with the former in mind, require little movement beyond fourth position, and as a result, are set in bass and tenor clefs only. All have a range of no greater than two-and-a-half octaves. These works are characterized by uncomplicated rhythms, melodic sequences, and direct repetition. In contrast to the first set of sonatas, those of opus 2 reveal a marked decrease in the alternation of duple and triple divisions of the beat. Moreover, the inclusion of melodic sequences allows the cellist to optimize execution of a single idea. While Graziani does require that his cellist render double stops, upbow staccato, scalar passages, arpeggios, passage-work, and large leaps, these are easily achieved and would certainly be well within the reach of the amateur cellist.
Like the sonatas of Graziani's first collection, those of the second are dominated by complex binary structures. The only exceptions are the two middle movements of nos. 3 and 6, the two rondeau finales of the third and fifth sonatas, and the ternary closing of the second sonata.17 The typical complex binary movement is laid out in the same fashion as described for opus 1, but with greater regularity. The opening of the second half, now large enough to call a development-like B section, always begins with a recollection of the A material, often citing the entire opening phrase. The closing A' sections are frequently verbatim repetitions of large portions of the original A with transitional material deleted.18
Especially in the first four sonatas, Graziani is careful never to overtax his cellist. There are neither difficult leaps nor awkward left-hand movements. Rhythms are straightforward, and shifts between duple and triple divisions of the beat are minimal and strategically placed so as to lessen the difficulty of execution.19 Of interest is the interplay between the cello and basso parts in many of the movements. While opus 1 required a purely accompanimental lower line, opus 2 offers a more active role for the basso player. Markings such as "sostenuto," "crescendo," "smor[zando]" (found in opus 2 no. 1, second movement), and "sempre staccato e piano" (op. 2 no. 3, third movement) suggest that the bottom line could easily be rendered by another cellist capable of these subtle requirements. While Graziani routinely voices the cello above the basso line, the registers are close enough that one hears a greater integration. Furthermore, interplay between the parts, as found in a number of movements, indicates a desire to create a duet for the performers. Of particular interest in this respect is the final movement of the third sonata, a Caccia allegro. This movement, remarkably different from any of those in opus 1 or even much of opus 2, includes a great deal of integration and imitation between the two voices. With its near-continuous interplay between the parts, the Caccia is far more of a duet than one might expect from a melo-bass sonata.
The Caccia is laid out in three sections of nearly equal length, each of which begins with the same material: a hunting call in the cello joined in imitation by the basso a measure later (mm. 1-6, 45-50, 80-85). New "units" are often announced with imitation as found with mm. 36-37, 41-42, and their corresponding places in the A' section, as well as mm. 53-54 in the central B section. Graziani contrasts this contrapuntal relationship with parallel motion that extends even to the inclusion of trills in both parts (mm. 7-16, 67-74). A third textural setting consists of those places where one part sustains a pitch while the other voice moves in shorter rhythmic values. While one might expect the upper part to be the more mobile one, in this particular movement, this is not always the case. Measures 18-25 and 54-58 offer us two examples with the latter displaying the expected quicker cello, slower basso, and the former revealing an active basso underneath a sustained cello (see fig. 4).
Only in the last two sonatas, traditionally the most demanding in publication sets of six, does Graziani add the soprano and treble clefs for those moments when the cellist is required to play beyond the neck positions (past fourth position), well into the second octave above middle C. The range and register of the basso does not change. Thus the distinction between solo cello and accompanimental basso is enhanced by the large registral differences of the two instruments, as well as a much less active and integrated basso part. The challenging cello part of the sixth sonata is made all the more apparent by an unobtrusive basso line. While the first four sonatas require some facility with the instrument, the last two sonatas demand a far more advanced performer.20
The opening Allegro of the sixth sonata is illustrative. Both the range-nearly three-and-a-half octaves-and the extensive use of the upper register21 immediately distinguish this sonata from the earlier ones of the set. The lower register of the cello is used only as part of a chord or arpeggiation. Unlike the first four sonatas, which employ only the tenor and bass clefs, this A-major sonata calls for three: treble, soprano, and tenor. While the structure of the opening Allegro mirrors that of the other first movements of opus 2, Graziani fills the score with advanced technical requirements (see fig. 5).
The middle movement, a Cantabile in E major, offers a simple binary structure featuring a very florid cello with a purely accompanimental basso. The numerous double stops are particularly challenging. Graziani, perhaps mindful of his potential audience, seems to have decided to "tone down" the technical requirements in the last movement, a Spiritoso in A major. The range is not as great, nor are there as many "hard spots" to tax the cellist. Rather, the rapid surface rhythm and continuous motion provide the sense of excitement without overburdening the cellist, who may well have become exhausted with the first movement. Set in 38 time, this gigue-like movement is filled with dotted rhythms. The one contrasting section (mm. 20-25), whose continuous triplets stand in great relief from the surrounding measures, draws our attention to the move from the tonic to the dominant. The return of the dotted rhythms, as well as a slightly more integrated basso, signals the close of the first half (see fig. 6).
Another feature of this movement, and characteristic of Graziani's style, is the inclusion of melodic repetition. Sometimes this is simply a small "block" repeated shortly or immediately after its initial hearing.22 In other instances, Graziani extends this repetition to form sequences. Measures 11-14 are typical: an initial figure, presented in m. 11, is heard three more times in stepwise descending motion. The basso part, while not moving in the same fashion, repeats the same rhythmic figure for each of the four measures, thereby helping to reproduce the same surface rhythm for the "unit."
Graziani's opus 323 is the only collection dedicated to one of his actual employers: Friedrich Wilhelm, crown prince of Prussia.24 The first public announcement of these sonatas appeared on 11 January 1776 in the Berlinische Nachrichten von Staats- und gelehrten Sachen.25 J. J. Hummel listed opus 3 in his catalogue that same year and continued to advertise the sonata set until 1814 (?).26 Hummel, who had established his publishing business in Amsterdam by 1753, had opened a branch in Berlin in 1770; he moved there himself in 1774. From that year on, the imprint of his firm appeared as "Chez J. J. Hummel à Berlin, à Amsterdam au Grand magazine de Musique." An additional "et aux addresses ordinaires" was often found on the title pages.27 The frontispiece of Graziani's own opus 3 bears these words; thus the work may well have been issued following Graziani's retirement in 1773 as royal cello teacher, and once Hummel had moved to Berlin. In contrast to the two previous publications that bear dedications to those with whom he had no established relationship, this third set firmly connects Graziani with Friedrich Wilhelm, both by naming the crown prince as dedicatee ("Dediés A Son Altesse Royale Monseigneur Le Prince de Prusse") and by the manner in which the cellist identifies himself ("Musicien de la Chambre de S. A. R. Monseigneur Le Prince de Prusse"). This suggests that the composer was content to remain in Potsdam with his former student and not look elsewhere for a new position. Thus one would expect the focus of these sonatas to be different from those of the preceding two sets. Rather than using the works as a means of establishing himself publically as a virtuoso performer, Graziani could present himself as a composer of amateur-friendly works, with the interests and needs of his former private student foremost in his mind.
These sonatas follow the same structural layout as the earlier two sets. While the first and second movements reveal the expected binary and ternary structures so common to opera 1 and 2, the last movements of opus 3 are different: half of them are theme and variations.28 This predominance of theme and variations may well be explained by the overall intent of the set of sonatas. At the bottom of the first page, Graziani includes the comment: "I have restricted myself to tenor and violin [treble] clefs so as not to embarrass amateurs with that of which they are less familiar."29 Such a statement suggests that Graziani, in addressing himself to the "public," was distinctly not writing for himself, but a wider audience. Thus the theme and variation movements would have satisfied several needs at once. Structurally, they are easy to understand. The binary themes consistently move from tonic to dominant in the first half, and dominant to tonic in the second. The latter always contains material drawn from the former. This same layout is maintained through each successive variation. Further continuity is achieved through a very repetitive basso line: it is exactly the same for the theme as well as every variation.30 These works also function well as pedagogical tools, for the composer focuses on one technical skill per variation, not so different from an etude.
The last movement of opus 3, no. 3, in B-flat major is a good example. Following a twenty-four measure theme, laid out in binary form, Graziani takes us through four variations, each devoted to a single figure or technique: continuous sixteenth-notes that alternate between scalar and turning movements, double stops, offbeats, and broken chords (notated as "arpegiato").31
While Graziani was writing for the public, he was certainly aware that his primary audience was his patron, the skilled cellist Friedrich Wilhelm. Thus the Italian musician had to balance carefully the need to challenge this talented musician with an understanding of what would be beyond his capability. The result was a set of sonatas that might easily serve for either this royal patron's personal performance or pedagogical purposes.32
The crown prince was known for his musical "skill and good taste" and a "beautiful tone."33 The Larghetto grazioso, a lilting sicilienne that functions as the middle movement of the first sonata of opus 3, would have provided Friedrich Wilhelm with the opportunity to demonstrate both his timbral and technical skills. The lyrical nature of the cello line is maintained throughout the movement as is the distinctive sicilienne rhythm (see fig. 7). There is but one large shift of hand position; nowhere else does Graziani require a substantial register change or complicated division of the pulse.
While the movement obviously requires a performer who is comfortable moving about the A string, other requirements (double stops, string crossings, and the like) are minimized. The movement simply offers the cellist the chance to render a beautiful melody without the additional technical burdens. Those requirements are reserved for the following movement.
The ensuing Presto offered the crown prince, or any other skilled amateur, the opportunity to demonstrate his facility with rapid scales, string crossings, use of the upper register, and double stops. And because Friedrich Wilhelm was an avid chamber enthusiast and performer, some of the interplay and imitation between cello and basso would have satisfied his urge for ensemble playing. These imitative passages, which appear in all parts of the movement (mm. 1-4, 15-18, 19-26, 72-75, 86-89, 90-97, 106-13, 120-25, 160-63), serve as a contrast to those portions that feature passagework and other technical feats (see fig. 8).
While all of these works share a number of common characteristics, their subtle differences allow us to place them within the context of Graziani's life. The six sonatas that comprise opus 1 are the least predictable. The use of a variety of C clefs, the taxing technical requirements, and the subservient basso part all suggest a set of works that allowed the cellist to showcase his virtuosity and musical ability. Graziani may well have been more interested in "selling himself" than his publication. It is even possible that Graziani chose to publish these works only after he had made sufficient use of them as a means of presenting himself to the public.
Opus 2 reveals a different side of the composer. That the technical requirements have been toned down considerably indicates that he was fully aware of the limitations of potential purchasers of his music, and took them into account. Furthermore, the greater integration of the two lines and more chamber-like texture in general suggests that he was considering not only aspiring amateur cellists but chamber enthusiasts as well. By incorporating an active basso line, Graziani may well have hoped to reach a wider audience, one which would be pleased to know that a satisfactory reading of the set could be achieved with either a cellistkeyboardist combination or a cello-bass instrument one.
Opus 3 reveals yet a third approach. Understanding that his chief purpose was to write for his talented student, Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm, Graziani crafted a set of works that challenged him but did not frustrate him. Thus the increased number of theme-and-variation movements may well have been a response to the need to teach certain skills to Friedrich Wilhelm, but do so in a musically satisfying manner. And while some integration of the upper and lower lines would be pleasing to the royal cellist, it was more important to highlight the soloist, allowing him to shine.
These technical requirements, coupled with a consideration of textural and structural features, allow us to differentiate these works according to function, audience, and venue. The more soloistic and demanding the cello part, the greater the likelihood that these sonatas functioned as vehicles for personal display or as pedagogical tools, a need to which Graziani addressed himself at both the beginning and ending of his professional life. Conversely, works that integrate both lines and limit technical requirements suggest a desire to reach a wider audience with varied tastes, needs, and abilities. Such a focus would be in keeping with the cellist's career when he lacked a stable employer and was seeking to expand his base of financial support.
These works also allow us to gain insight into how an eighteenthcentury composer might deal with the growing "gulf" between public and private music making. Opus 1, with its difficult technical requirements, requires a skilled musician, one who routinely performs in public. Opus 2, with its less demanding cello part, easily satisfies the needs of the amateur (private) music maker-technically accessible and musically appealing to one with limited ability. In each case, Graziani chose to dedicate the publication to a potential benefactor with whom he had no known connection. Thus, although the works filled markedly different needs and functions, Graziani may well have considered these works as a means of demonstrating his versatility as a composer of cello sonatas for the professional and dilettante alike. Opus 3, with its dedication to Graziani's own former student, reveals an interesting mix. Written expressly with Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm in mind, these sonatas are designed for the private use of an advanced (but amateur) cellist. While it is known that the crown prince took part in orchestral performances and daily chamber music sessions, he did not perform as a soloist in public. Graziani, who remained at court even after his retirement, was fully aware of this. His challenge was to write reasonably demanding works for Friedrich Wilhelm's personal use.
In his Sonata in the Classic Era, William S. Newman notes that the sonata of the second half of the eighteenth century could serve multiple purposes: as a stepping stone in the career of professional performer or composer, as a pedagogical tool, and as a work to be used for either a private or public concert.34 Newman's discussion is highly useful, for he offers a means by which one might distinguish between seemingly similar works of a single composer. Such is the case with the cellist-composer Carlo Graziani.
1. In addition, Graziani composed nearly twenty other works for cello and basso, all of which remained in manuscript during his lifetime. For a discussion of these unpublished works, as well as a modern edition of nine of them, see Carlo Graziani, Sonatas for Violoncello and Basso, ed. Mara Parker, Recent Researches in the Music of the Classical Era, 49 (Madison, WI: A-R Editions, 1997).
2. John Irving, "Sonata: 2. Classical," Grove Music Online, http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/public/ (accessed 16 November 2011).
3. See, for example, Georges Cucuël's assertion that the Italian cellist arrived in Paris in the latter part of the 1740s: Georges Cucuël, La Pouplinière et la musique de chambre au XVIIIe siècle (Paris: Librairie Fischbauer, 1913; reprint, Da Capo Press Music Reprint Series, New York: Da Capo, 1977), 338. Cucuël's comments, that Graziani made his debut at the Concert Spirituel in 1747, are consistently repeated in more recent research, including, among other references, Valerie Walden, "Graziani, Carlo," in Grove Music Online (accessed 16 November 2011). There is, however, no evidence to support Cucuël's statement. For a detailed discussion of Graziani's arrival in Paris and the supposed performance at the Concert Spiritual, see my " 'Le plus dous moment de ma vie': Carlo Graziani and the Quest for Ideal Employment," International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music 39, no. 1 (June 2008): 31-56.
4. The affidavit is faithfully reproduced in the original language and carefully translated to English in Curtis Price, Judith Milhous, and Robert D. Hume, The Impresario's Ten Commandments: Continental Recruitment for Italian Opera in London 1763-64, Royal Musical Association Monographs, 6 (London: Royal Musical Association, 1992), 73. This document is part of legal proceedings brought against Felice Giardini for payment of back wages, all of which is discussed in detail.
5. When La Pouplinière discovered that the chimney in Mme La Pouplinière's room was "rigged" so that the Duke of Richelieu could enter undetected, activities such as musical concerts were brought to a complete halt. For a full description of this scandal, see Cucuël, La Pouplinière, 153-63.
6. Georges Cucuël, "Quelques documents sur la librairie musicale au XVIIIe siècle," Sammelbände der Internationalen Musikgesellschaft 13, no. 2 ( January-March 1912): 389. The existence of this privilège is confirmed by ms. 21998, no. 2906, from the Bibliothèque nationale de France, noted by Cucuël as previously unexamined. The privilège du roi dates back to a sixteenth-century act that specified permission to print was obligatory on all publications, including music. The first such license was awarded to Robert Ballard by Henri II in 1552. From that point on, a license (or permission to print) became a requirement; a further stipulation was that the phrase "privilège du Roi" should appear on the title page. A composer was obliged to deposit a number of copies of the work in the king's library. See Barry Brook, La symphonie française dans la seconde moitié du XVIIIe siècle, 3 vols., Publications de l'Institut de musicology de l'Université de Paris, 3 (Paris: l'Institut de musicologie de l'Université de Paris, 1962), 1:37-39.
7. The title page appears as follows: SEI/ SONATE/ a Violoncello Solo, e Basso/ DEDICATE/ A Sua Eccellenza il Conte/ D'OGINSKI/ Inspettore della Lituania Collonello d'un Regimento de/ Dragoni al Servizio della Republica di Polonia, e Cavaliere/ dell'Aquila Bianca/ DA CARLO GRAZIANI/ Astigiano/ OPERA PRIMA./ In Pariagi Alli Soliti indrizzi di musica/ Con Privileggio di S. M./ Mlla Vendôme in faccia al Palazo Reale/ De L'im Primerie de Richomme l'aineé//. A copy of this edition is part of the Bibliothèque nationale collection, Département de la musique, shelf number A.34204. See RISM entry G3696 for a full list of libraries that own this publication. For a modern, critical edition of both opus 1 and opus 2, see my edition of Carlo Graziani, Sonatas for Violoncello and Basso, Opp. 1 and 2, Recent Researches in the Music of the Classical Era, 83 (Middleton, WI: A-R Editions, 2011).
8. Oginski spent seven years in France, first at the court of Stanislaw Leszcyski at Lunéville and then in Paris, where he arrived, possibly, by 1750. During his stay in the French capital, he lived on rue St. Honoré at the Hôtel de Noailles. Oginski studied violin with Giovanni Viotti, reputed to be the finest violinist in France, and also learned to play both the clarinet and harp. He made a number of improvements to the harp pedal system; these were adopted by Erard in Paris in 1762. See Alina Nowak- Romanowicz, "Oginski: (1) Michal Kazimierz Oginski," Grove Music Online (accessed 16 November 2011). For the definitive biography of Oginski, see Andrzej Ciechanowiecki, Michal Kazimierz Oginski und sein Musenhof zu Slonim, Beiträge zur Geschichte Osteuropas, 2 (Cologne: Böhlau, 1961).
9. A contrary opinion is offered by Cucuël, who notes the presence of the "Mannheimer Vorhalt" throughout this collection. He suggests that since this figure was commonly used by La Pouplinière's musicians, Graziani must have already been in Paris at the time of composition (Cucuël, La Pouplinière, 349). The sonata collection was announced in the "Musique" section of L'Avant-Coureur on 12 January 1761.
10. Although they can cover as much as three octaves and a fourth (op. 1 no. 1) or as little as two octaves and a seventh (op. 1 nos. 2, 3, and 5).
11. This appears in the fourth sonata. The middle movement of the fifth sonata contains no repeats; instead, Graziani crafts a ternary movement without the binary outer construction.
12. Cucuël, "Quelques documents," 390, confirms this with Bibliothèque nationale, ms. 21999, no. 163.
13. The title page appears as follows: SIX/ SONATES/A/ Violoncelle et Basse/ DÉDIÉES/ A Son Altesse Sérénissime Electorale/ MAXIMILIEN JOSEPH/ Duc de la Haute et Basse Baviere et du Haut Palatinat. Comte/ Palatin du Rhin, Archi-Dapifer Prince et Electeur du Saint/ Empire Romain, Land-Grave de Leuchtenberg. & & &/ DA/ CARLO GRAZIANI/ ASTIGIANO/ OPERA II/ Gravé par Madme Oger./ A PARIS/ Chez Mr. Le Menu, Marchand de Musique, rue du Roule à la clef d'Or./ Prix 7l. 4 s./ AVEC PRIVILEGE DU ROY.// A copy is housed in the Bibliothèque nationale collection, Département de la musique, shelf numbers A. 34205 and 34206. See RISM entries G3697 and G3698 for a list of libraries that own this publication. A facsimile edition appears in Mid Eighteenth-Century Cello Sonatas: Continuo Sonatas for Cello, ed. Jane Adas, The Eighteenth-Century Continuo Sonata, 7 (New York: Garland, 1991), 277-303.
14. Cari Johannson, French Music Publishers' Catalogues of the Second Half of the Eighteenth Century, 2 vols., Publications of the Library of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, 2 (Stockholm: Almqvist and Wiksells, 1955), facs. 82-91, 95, 97, and 99.
15. This is most likely Mlle Schencker, a harpist and flutist. See Daniel Heartz, Music in the European Capitals: The Galant Style, 1720-1780 (New York: W. W. Norton, 2003), 654-56.
16. Émile Campardon, La cheminée de madame de la Pouplinière (Paris: Charavay, ), 71-74, describes this meeting. See also Scellés après le décès de M. de la Pouplinière du 5 décembre 1762, Archives Nationales, Y15 647, reproduced in Cucuël, La Pouplinière, 356. Regarding La Pouplinière's collection, see William S. Newman, The Sonata in the Classic Era, 3d ed. (New York: W. W. Norton, 1983), 54.
17. In this last-mentioned work, Graziani writes an ABA Minuetto grazioso with the A and B sections clearly defined by harmonic changes, contrasting melodic lines, and internal structural construction; each large section is divided into subsections, thereby forming binary substructures within this ternary movement.
18. An examination of the opening movement of the first sonata will put this in perspective. This Allegro in common time, set entirely in tenor clef, opens with a martial two-measure figure affirming the home key of C major both through triadic outlines in the cello and repeated eighth-notes in the basso reinforcing either the pitch C or a chordal outline of the triad. The phrase is then repeated verbatim. The choppiness of the cello part is maintained throughout the first part of this A section, either through dotted rhythms, or through short ideas separated by rests. The move to the dominant in m. 21 is announced with a more lyrical cello line that exhibits greater continuity and a smoother surface rhythm than the preceding section, as well as a far less varied line in the basso. To extend phrases, Graziani will often repeat a figure, as he does in mm. 15-18 or 24-29. Beyond this repetition, though, this is no development or exploration of ideas. Throughout this opening section, the cello part simply moves from one idea to the next, using neck positions only. Nearly all of this can be played on the D and A strings. Leisurely movement in eighth- and quarter-notes ensures that the amateur will not be flustered, and that ideas can easily be executed without requiring quick shifts or string changes. The simplicity of the cello line is matched by that of the basso. Repeated pitches, steady eighth-notes, and a harmonic reinforcement of tonic and dominant harmonies characterize this part. Only in m. 33, when the cello plays descending eighth-notes, does the surface rhythm of the basso part change, signaling the close of the opening section. The B section begins with a verbatim repetition of the opening nine measures of the movement, but now set in the dominant. Following two more measures that are similar to mm. 10-11, Graziani provides the cellist with a three-measure sequence leading us to the submediant (A minor) and a change of surface rhythm. A contrasting three-measure unit, characterized by the cello's martial rhythms, double stops, and forte-piano alternation, follows. The final segment of B, labeled "dolce," features three measures of numerous trills in the cello followed by simple, scalar movement in the basso in m. 58, leading us to the return of A in the next measure. The closing A' section repeats much of the opening one, but with some deletions.
19. The one small section with double stops can be played in a single position and requires minimal effort. By avoiding the higher register of the instrument, Graziani has ensured that this opening sonata will be accessible to the largest number of players.
20. In addition to the aforementioned technical requirements, but now more extensive, the cellist must render florid triplet and sixteenth-note passages, move easily in and out of the upper register, and execute broken chords.
21. Up to two octaves above middle C.
22. As with mm. 3 and 5, mm. 20-21 and 22-23, or mm. 56-57 and 58-59.
23. The title page reads as follows: SIX SONATES/ A/ VIOLONCELLO & BASSO/ Dediés/ A SON ALTESSE ROYALE/ Monseigneur Le/ PRINCE de PRUSSE/ Par/ CHARLES GRAZIANI,/ d'ASTI/ Musicien de la Chambre de S. A. R./ Monseigneur le Prince de Prusse./ Oeuvre Troisieme./ Chés JEAN JULIEN HUMMEL,/ à Berlin avec Privilége du Roi,/ à Amsterdam au Grand/ Magazin de Musique/ et/ aux Adresses ordinaires/ Prix f4//. A copy of this edition was formerly held by the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin- Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Musikabteilung, M1941. An existant copy is housed in the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, shelf number J.XVII.164. See RISM entry G3699 for a list of libraries that own this publication. A modern critical edition, edited by Giacomo Benvenuti, appears as Carlo Graziani, Sei sonate per violoncello e basso continuo, op. 3, I classici musicali italiani, 15 (Milan: I Classici Musicali Italiani, 1943).
24. Graziani was hired as teacher to the crown prince of Prussia, Friedrich Wilhelm, shortly after giving two concerts with his wife in Frankfurt on 16 and 23 September 1770. The cellist retired, with a pension, in 1773, but remained in Potsdam near his former employer. Friedrich Wilhelm II was crowned king in 1786, one year before Graziani's death.
25. Cari Johansson, J. J. & B. Hummel Music-Publishing and Thematic Catalogues, 3 vols., Publikationer utgivna av Kungl. Musikaliska akademien, 3 (Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell, 1972), 1:33.
26. Facsimile reproductions of the catalog sheets may be found in ibid., vol. 2, plates 12, 14, 21, 29, 33, 37, 41, 45, 49, and 53.
27. Johansson, Hummel Music-Publishing, 1:4-5. See also Cari Johansson, "Hummel," Grove Music Online (accessed 16 November 2011) for information about the publisher's places of business.
28. The remaining ones are a couple of complex binary structures and a single rondeau. In contrast, the closing movements of opera 1 and 2 feature four complex binary closing movements, three rondeaus, and one theme and variations.
29. "Je me suis restraint aux Clefs de Tenor et de Violon, pour epargner aux Amateurs l'embarras de celles don't l'usage ne leurest pas si familier." This sentence appears at the bottom of the first page of Sonata no. 1.
30. Only in the sixth sonata does Graziani alter this part, and only because he includes a minor-key variation.
31. The final movement of the fifth sonata is laid out in a similar fashion. The thirty-six-measure theme is followed by five variations, each focusing on a particular figuration or idea: triplets (variation 1), scales and arpeggios in continuous sixteenth notes (variation 2), double stops (variation 3), and broken chords (variation 5). Variation 4 highlights rhythmic issues for the cellist, who must negotiate frequent changes between duple and triple divisions of the beat, syncopation, as well as demands of the left hand.
32. As Sylvette Milliot notes, "No one can deny that Graziani's sonatas, addressed perhaps to that noble student, display a care to [consider] the scope of the amateur. The progressive appearance of difficulty reveals at the same time, a certain pedagogical purpose and as was the custom, the virtuoso regains his rights in the last two sonatas of each collection. . . ." [Que les sonates de Graziani, addressées peutêtre à quelque noble élève, montrent le souci de se mettre à la portée de l'amateur, nul ne saurait le nier. L'apparition progressive des difficultés peut même révéler un certain but pédagogique, et, comme chez plusieurs de ses prédécesseurs, le virtuose ne reprend ses droits que dans les deux dernières sonates de chaque recueil. . . .] Sylvette Milliot, Le violoncelle en France au XVIIIe siécle (Paris: Champion; Geneva: Slatkine, 1981; reprint 1985), 181.
33. "die Fertigkeit und der gut Geschmack . . . und die Schönheit des Tons." See Ernst Ludwig Gerber, "Friedrich Wilhelm," Historisches-biographisches Lexikon der Tonkünstler, 2 vols. (Leipzig: J. G. I. Breit kopf, 1790-92), 1:col. 454. Reprint, together with Gerber's 1812-14 four-volume supplement, as Historischbiographisches Lexikon der Tonkünstler (1790-92) und Neues historisch-biographisches Lexikon der Tonkünstler (1812-14), mit den in den Jahren 1792-1834 veröffentlichten Ergänzungen sowie der Erstveröffentlichung handschriftlicher Berichtigungen und Nachträge, ed. Othmar Wessely, 7 vols. in 4 (Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, 1966-69).
34. Newman, The Sonata in the Classic Era, 43.
Mara Parker is a professor of musicology and string performance at Widener University, where she also serves as associate dean of humanities. She is the author of The String Quartet (1750-1797) (Ashgate, 2002), String Quartets: A Research and Information Guide (Routledge, 2005; 2d ed., 2011), and articles dealing with musicians and chamber music of the second half of the eighteenth century.