Jablonski, Marek (Michael)

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Jacchini, Giuseppe Maria

(b Bologna, 16 July 1667; d Bologna, 2 May 1727). Italian cellist and composer. He was a young cleric at the basilica of S Petronio and probably sang as a choirboy in the cappella musicale. He may well be the ‘Gioseffo del Violonzino’ engaged from 1680 to 1688 as an extra player for the feast of St Petronius each 4 October. He studied composition with G.A. Perti and the cello with Domenico Gabrielli. According to Padre Martini, he learnt to play so well that he ‘approached the sublimity of skill of his master’.

On 31 October 1689 he was accepted as a regular cellist at S Petronio through the intervention and patronage of Count Pirro Albergati, to whom he dedicated his op.4. He served there until the dissolution of the cappella musicale in January 1696, receiving an increase in wages in 1693. In 1701 a regular orchestra was again engaged at S Petronio and he played there from March of that year until his death in 1727. He became a member of the Accademia Filarmonica on 16 December 1688, though not without opposition from those who accused him of not attending the spiritual exercises and sacred functions of the academy. His name was drawn as principe of the Accademia Filarmonica in April 1709, but he declined to serve on the grounds that he did not want such a dignity; his name was excluded from further drawings, but since he was aggregated in the rank of composer he was allowed to compete for the music to be performed on the patronal feast each year. He submitted sonatas, a hymn and numerous settings of the Salve regina for many years. During this period he served as maestro di cappella in the Collegio dei Nobili and at the church of S Luigi in Bologna.

Jacchini was known as an excellent cellist in both church and theatre, being especially adept at accompanying singers; probably he furnished elegant solo episodes of the kind found in some of his published instrumental works. He was justly famous during his lifetime for his trumpet and string sonatas, continuing the Bolognese tradition set by Cazzati, Torelli, Perti and P. Franceschini. A letter from one Stefano Frilli to Perti dated ‘Florence 8 August 1699’ (I-Bc) indicates the popularity of Jacchini’s trumpet works even outside Bologna. Frilli writes ‘I brought from there [Bologna] (given to me by a copyist) a sinfonia with trumpet by Signor Jacchini, which was very well liked, and every time [it was performed] they asked who is this [composer], rejoicing with you that he is your pupil’.

Besides his imaginative writing for both trumpet and violins, his works often contain solo passages for cello. In some movements the cello alternates with the trumpet in imitative dialogues, or accompanies it as an obbligato instrument, a practice also favoured by his teacher Gabrielli. All these works (now in I-Bsp) come from the years 1690–95 when the cappella musicale was at its height under the direction of G.P. Colonna. The presence of an excellent trumpeter, G.P. Brandi, engaged annually for the patronal feast during this period, must have inspired this festive music. Passages for cello are often briefly imitative of the trumpet, or they alternate between episodic diminutions of the bass line and a more strict adherence to the continuo part.

His op.4 is made up of ten concertos, of which six have a part for cello obbligato. These are brief solo passages, usually four to eight bars long, using scalic or four-note sequential patterns (nearly always in the fast movements). A sonata for cello solo in a collection entitled Sonata a tre di vari autori from the late 17th or early 18th century shows an advanced level of virtuosity with the addition to the above techniques of repeated arpeggiated chords. The music reveals the gradual liberation of the cello from the role of continuo instrument and its somewhat tentative assumption of a more solo role.




Sonate … per camera (vn, vc)/vc solo (Bologna, n.d.)


Sonate da camera a 3 with vc obbl (Bologna, 1695)


Concerti per camera, vn, vc, bc (Modena, 1697)


Concerti per camera à 3 e 4, with vc obbl (Bologna, 1701)


Trattenimenti per camera, 3–6 insts, some with 1/2 tpt (Bologna, 1703)


Sonata no.4 in Sonate per Camera … di vari autori, vn, vc (Bologna, c1700)


Sonata no.5, vc solo, in Sonata a 3 di vari autori (Bologna, c1700)


Sonata no.6 in Sonata … di vari autori, vn, vc (Bologna, c1680)


Sinfonia con tromba, tpt, 2 vn, va, vc, bc, 1690, I-Bsp D.12.5; Sonata con tromba, tpt, 2 vn, va, vc obbl, bc, 1695, Bsp D.12.4; Da morto sonata con trombe sordine, 2 tpt, 2 vn, va, vc obbl, bc, 1695, Bsp D.12.7; sonata a 5 con tromba, tpt, 2 vn, va, vc, bc, Bsp D.12.6

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