Friday, 9 December 2016

Sign it, sign it!

a young Italian Women glad to have vote for the first time in 1946.

We are in December and the end of the year is near so we can do a final report of the campaigns undertaken in Italy, certainly the one to elect March 10th as a national holiday to celebrate the Women's vote in 1946 is among the most significant that there was even if it is passed mostly unnoticed in the main media.

The petition, born to elect this date as "National day of Women's vote", has been thought by important Italian Women who have always dealt with these issues from different point of view such as Silvia Costa, Fiorenza Taricone, Roberta Agostini and Livia Turco President of the most important Foundation dedicated to an extraordinary Italian politician: Nilde Iotti, mother of the Italian Republic. Precisely this Foundation supported the initiative launching a petition on the well-known website.

The Petition was addressed to the President of the Italian Republic: Sergio Mattarella, to the nowadays former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, to the Minister for Equal Opportunity: Elena Maria Boschi and to the major Italian Institutions as Laura Boldrini the former Chief of the Italian Chamber of Deputies.

This exact day, 10th of March, was choosen because it was right the day when for the first time the Italian Women voted and the promoters have choosen it "as emblematic moment to continue to explore the theme of civil and political rights for Men and Women".

In few days the petition got more than 400 signatures and was presented to the Italian Chamber of Deputies to be argued. Right after the Nilde Iotti Foundation organized a Conference in Mestre to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Italian vote of Women, held by the President of the Foundation, Livia Turco.

In this same period some books were pubblished that retrace that issue such as "Laws of women who have changed Italy" and "Milestones and content of legislative achievements - from the beginning of the Republic to the end of the last legislature- that have changed the lives of Women and the economic, social and cultural development of our Country ".

Unfortunately the current Italian Political situation does not leave hope that the suggestion would be considered in a short time.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Giulia who composed the Baptism of the Feminism, reach regal decorations and become “Commendatore” of the Italian Republic

A. Renoir, "At  the Theater", 1876- 1877.

She was the first and sometimes the only woman whose music compositions  were played in the most important theaters all over the world, who was produced abroad and decorated for her fine compositions even from the former and last Italian Royals, she was Giulia Recli.

She was born on 4th December  1884 in Milan, her father was the “Commendatore” Luigi Recli, who was among the founders of the Ambrosiano Bank and her mother was the pianist Luisa Biancardi [1]. Her musical studies was carry on by the most important teachers of her  time  as Alessandro Bonci , her vocal coach, or as Giovanni Maria Anfossi, her piano coach, and Ildebrando Pizzetti, her composition coach.
Her first plays are from the 1910s and in 1914 the Scala of Milan commission her a composition which will become the symphonic  poem entitled “Alba dell’anima”  (The Sunrise of the Soul), in 1919 one of her tone poem, which lyrics were written by her sister Maria, poetess, was played at the Politeama Rossetti in Trieste [2].
Her symphonic poem, played at the Augustus Theatre in Rome, and directed by the magnificent Master Tullio Serafin with the Santa Cecilia’s Orchestra, was defineted by the "Giornale d’Italia" (The Newspaper of Italy) “such as a baptism of the Feminism in music” because for the first time on the theatrical table there was the name of a female composer [3]

In the 30’s she met and established  with the Director of the Scala Choir, Vittore Veneziani [4], a long lasting collaboration which will be interrupted only with the world war but will restart at the end of that one.
In the 50’s she was eletted Vice President of the Italian Musician Trade Union, in Italian SMI Sindacato dei Musicisti Italiani [5], and won few international awards as that one for women composers  in Basilea and that one in Trieste with Campanelle  (Little Bells) Song [6]. In the USA she won the second and First award in the New York Musical Association with the composition for piano and singing called “Villereccia Song” [7]. Her lyrics were too much appreciated in the USA and even produced by the Schirmer  right from the 30’s but were also appreciated all  over the world if they were played in the most important world’s theaters such as the Metropolitan Opera of New York, the Royal Albert Hall of London, the Scala in Milan, the Opera in Brema and also in the Opera in Budapest.
From 1951 to 1966 she became Principal of the Lyceum of Milan and therefore she  decided to organized classes, concerts, awards [8]  to give  talented young people the opportunity to learn and to be noticed.
In 1965 the execution of one of her composition by the Orchestra of RAI (The Italian National Television) was celebrated even by the “Bible of the Music”: Billboard [9]while in this same years, her last, she was honoured also by the Italian Republic for her artistic and philanthropic engagement as in the past years she was also decorated for her high merits for her compositions by the Italian Queen [10]. Now the Italian Republic too glorified her work with two awards, the only female composer to receved the Ordine di Commendatore of the Italian Republic [11] in the 1964 and in 1969 just one year before she died, on 19th December 1970,  in Brivio which has founded a local band called “Giulia Recli” in her honour. 

[1] “Chi è?: Dizionario degli italiani di oggi”, FORMIGGINI A. F., Ed. Formiggini, 1928, pag. 403.
[2] “Le Lombarde in musica”, Fondazione Adkins Chiti: Donne in Musica, Colombo, 2008, pag. 136.
[3] Ivi, pag. 135.
[4] Ivi, pag. 138.
[5] Ivi, pag. 141.
[6] Ibidem.
[7] Il Carroccio- The Italian Rewiev, vol. 18, pag. 70.
[8] “Le Lombarde in musica”, Op. cit., pag. 141.
[9] “Gal Writers are honored”, Billboard”, edizione del 4 dicembre 1965, pag. 22.
[10] Women of notes: 1000 women composers born before 1900, LAURENCE A., Ed. R. Rosen Press, 1978 , pag. 79.

[11] “Donne in Musica”, ADKINS CHITI P., Ed. Armando, 1996, pag. 177.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Chiara by virtue, Margarita by honor that is the most important composer of the 1600 Italian scenery

Federico Moja, 1821- 1885.

Margarita Cozzolani was born in November on the 27 in 1602, in Milan. She was one of the most appreciated Italian composers of the 1600s.
Margarita was born in a rich and wealthy family of merchants and received, as a tradition, her education within the home, among the subjects given to her there was also Music which seems highly fit to her. So her artistic skills were assigned to the family Rognoni, known and respected masters of instrumental and vocal music of the era. But Margarita will see the opportunity to use her musical skills not so much in a good marital or family indoor rather in the shelter of a cloister, in fact as equally of a custom of the time, preceded by aunts and a sister, Margarita will be a Benedictine in the convent of St. Radegonda, near the Duomo of Milan, in 1620, at the age of eighteen, and will be consecrated with the name, she has chose, of Chiara.

This new condition of nun, however, does not inhibit her to use her talents as part of her monastic experience, moreover, it is not known with certainty the value of her vocation which then can not be denied in advance. In her convent, Sister Chiara then endeavored to work of Music, reorganizing Singings, Psalms, Vespers of the Eucharistic celebration with such sophistication and complexity to be able to attract whole crowds to the Convent to attend the executions of those nuns defined by a contemporary "[...] under the black spoils seem to the listener, candid, harmonious swans, that, fill the hearts of surprise, and kidnap their languages of encomiums".  [1]

In fact, the fame of her skills and ability as a composer earned her the opportunity to publish four works that are not unfortunately  entirely all came down to us.

"Visit of the Cardinal", by Salvatore Frangiamore, 1853.
The peculiarity of her arrangements was that her works had three metrics for as many choruses that melted with the symphony and the verses in double or triple time; Cozzolani's scoring establishes three sets of paired parts: two violins, two sopranos, two tenors and  basso continuo. [2]

Her musical works nevertheless convey between the period of 1640 to 1650 because  Sister Chiara was elected Abbess of Santa Radegonda and prefered focused on the commitments and responsibilities of her new charge so or to avoid to her Convent unpleasant situations or to meet the Cardinal Alfonso Litta's wishes who  hoped moderation of the use of Music in Churches, her activity was interrupted.

Sister Chiara, Maragarita, Cozzolani, died, in the Convent, presumably between 1676 and 1678.

Her and the luster that her music led to her Convent, remains in a panegyric of Filippo Picinelli in his  work , entitled "University of Literati Milanesi" in 1670 in which he writes:

"The nuns of St. Radegonda of Milan, in the possession of the music are equipped of such exquisiteness so rare, that are recognized for the first singers of Italy. [...]. Among that religious ones, deserves the most highest merits Donna Chiara Margarita Cozzolani, named Chiara thanks to virtue; and Margarita, for the nobility of talent, rare, and excellent honor, who if in the year 1620 wore that  sacred dress, she succeeded in the exercise of music such a big success that from 1640 up to 1650 has sent to the press, four works of music".


  • Primavera di fiori musicali a 1. 2 . 3. 4. voci,dedicata all’Eminentissimo Cardinal Monti Arcivescovo di Milano, Milano, 1640, perduta;          
    "Spring of musical Flowers in voices, dedicated to the Cardinal Monti Archbishop of Milan, Milan, 1640, Lost;
  • Mottetti a 1. 2. 3. e 4 voci al Serenissimo Principe Mathias di Toscana, Venezia, 1642;
    Motets at voices to his Eminence Prince Mathias of Tuscany,
    Venice, 1642;
  • Scherzi di Sacra Melodia, Venezia, 1648;  perduto;        Jokes of sacred melody, Venice, 1648, Lost;
  • Salmi à otto voci concertati con Mottetti et dialoghi a 1. 2. 3.4.e 5. voci all’Illustrissimo Monsignor Badoaro Vescovo di Cremona, Venezia, 1650.                    
    Psalms in eight voices with concerted motets and dialogues in 1. 2. 3.4.5 voices to the Illustrious Monsignor Badoaro Bishop of Cremona, Venice, 165

[1] PICCINELLI F., “Ateneo dei Letterati Milenesi”, Ed. F. Vigone, 1670.
[2] KURTZMAN J., a cura di, “Vesper and Compline Music for Four Principal Voices:Agostino Agazzari, Giovanni Francesco Anerio, Giovanni Battista Biondi da Cesena, Maurizio Cazzati, Antonio Cifra, Chiara Margarita Cozzolani, Bonifazio Graziani, Giovanni Legrenzi, Isabella Leonarda, Tarquinio Merula, Lodovico Viadana”, Ed. Routledge, 2014.