Scarlatti Fadini/Moiraghi Critical Edition

The vol. 10 of the Emilia Fadini / Marco Moiraghi (Ricordi) critical edition has been published a few days ago. A vol. 11 is due and it will be the last, followed by the thematic index.

I know most of you are bound to the Gilbert edition. But sincerely the two editions, Fadini and Gilbert, are just incomparable.
This vol. 10 contains the Essercizi (I’ll say later why the Essercizi are in vol. 10 and not in vol. 1), it’s entirely edited by Marco Moiraghi (who I don’t know personally and never talked or wrote, although he is a friend of Enrico Baiano who has been my teacher and is a friend) and it’s a major piece of music philology. The essercizi are to be found not only in the famous edition 1738 but in a lot of manuscripts. Moreover, the manuscript copies show a lot of author variants, as some of the sonatas were probably juvenile and rewritten or corrected for the edition. A very substantial introduction (55 pages), both in Italian and English, reports and explains the very complicated source situation and relationships.
There is an appendix with alternative versions of some sonatas (author’s variants).
The critical commentary is consequently more substantial than in the other volumes, 70 pages of variants (again repeated, 35 pages in Italian and 35 in English). Of course the other volumes have thorough introductions and critical commentary etc. as well.
No modernization of the notation has been done, safe the clefs.
The volume 9 was edited by Moiraghi as well and the first 8 by Emilia Fadini alone.

I do have a couple of critical remarks, though.

  1. The unfortunate choice of the order of the sonatas. This choice was done at the beginning of the edition, 25 years ago and I can’t agree on. Fadini decided to publish in the following order:
  • first the sonatas contained in the Venezia ms, vol. 14 and 15.
  • then the sonatas contained in the Venezia ms, voll 1-13.

As you may recall, the Venezia manuscript is in 15 volumes but the the two volumes numbered 14 and 15 are in fact a different collection and were copied before the other 13.

  • then the sonatas contained in other manuscripts but not in Venezia
  • at last the sonatas contained in XVIII century printed editions.

The practical result is another Scarlatti numbering after the Longo, Pestelli, Kirkpatrick. Fadini claims she didn’t intend to introduce a new numbering, it should be just a different order of presentation, but in fact she does put a number before each sonata, so in practical terms it is a new numbering.
As we all are accostumed to the K numbering, sometimes is difficult to reach the sonata you are looking for, as no correspondence table is offered.
Ten years ago I made such a correspondence table between the various numbering systems, along with one orederd by tonality. If you wish, you can download the 5 files (the sonatas ordered by Pestelli, Longo, Fadini, Kirkpatrick, tonality) from this link:

https://app.box.com/s/mfutqzuo1ptha86jclii

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The other critical remark I have is on typography.
The 10 volumes are sewn-bound, so no risk of losing pages due to glue failing. They do stay open on the music desk (if they want to close you can stretch open them, the sewn binding allows this). This is good.
But the voll. 9 and 10 have an ugly paper, too white. It’s white like a photocopy paper. The volls 1-8 were (are) off-white, a lightly creamy colour very relaxing for the eyes.
I guess the paper has been chosen among the ones available for digital printing. The vols 1-8 show signs of being hand-engraved, but the vols 9-10 are clearly computer-engraved. But there are many papers more beautiful than this still compatible with digital printing. I attach a picture in which you can see the different papers. The whitier is the paper used for the volls 9 and 10, the creamier one is used in the volls 1-8 and is very similar to the Henle or Baerenreiter papers you know well.
And, the vol 10 uses “fake small capitals” I (and many typography lovers) find very ugly.

The same can be said for other editions, for example the new Lyrebird Fitzwilliam or the Pergolesi Complete works.
I think Andrew may be with me on this subject. :slight_smile:

All volumes are often engraved with too much space between the notes and between the systems. This is obviously in order to get a sonata part entirely contained in a page spread to have no page turns (safe than in a handful of the longest sonatas), but I think often they could engrave an entire sonata on two pages instead of 4, still having no page turns.
The last two volumes show an overall deterioration of the quality of the music engraving. The overall appearance seems somewhat weak.

The size of volumes 9 and 10 is 305 mm x 230 mm (12’ x 9’). A fairly size nowadays, suitable for the medium-sized digital printing machinery. The vols 1-8 were (are) 320 mm high (12.6’). In this case it makes no difference as the printing is very large and spacious.

These remarks notwithstanding, a great edition with its peak in vol 10.


The two papers.


The sewn binding.


A spread showing an excessive spacing. This is an extreme case, though, the other pages are better.


A plainly wrong note alignment of the f and g left hand in the sonata K1.


An irregular note spacing in the same sonata, K1.