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Concerto in F major

ed. Paul Everett

How unfortunate it is, that the authorship of this concerto, arguably the better composition of the two, is unknown and seems likely to remain so. Although knowledge of both works has spread a little since their sources were researched some twenty years ago, no concordance that would identify the composer of the concerto in F major has yet been found. Because of its own musical quality and its significance within an almost non-existent repertory, this work does not deserve to share the inevitable fate of so much unattributed early music: ignored and unpublished, thus largely unknown and scarcely ever performed. In any case, the justification for publishing the two concertos together (an act which will give the anonymous work a degree of protection against neglect) is utterly compelling: these are works that belong together now because they have always belonged together. It follows that today they might ideally be programmed together within the same concert. Their sources are related manuscripts of identical Italian provenance, cognate in virtually every respect except for their texts, exhibiting features in common that include one copyist's hand, a single type of paper and one particular pattern of stave-rulings. Having been compiled by a group of copyists sharing a single quantity of music-paper, they must be extremely close to each other in date and purpose. Though they are physically separate, they are what one might term 'companion manuscripts': associated works copied within a short space of time or even at one sitting. From this - not to mention the many musical characteristics common to the two concertos - we may safely believe at least that the composer of the anonymous work was a close contemporary of Giovanni Chinzer, almost certainly active in Italy (though not necessarily Italian by birth), and quite likely involved in the artistic circles in which Chinzer himself moved. It would be far less safe to conclude that the unattributed work is another by Chinzer (though that possibility is, of course, plausible), or even to go so far as to claim it as probably his work. Since the small group of manuscripts to which these concertos belong is a remnant of what was once a diverse and much larger repertory of a particular musical establishment, we cannot rule out the notion that these are merely the two surviving examples of several double clarinet concertos representative of several composers.