ELEGIA PER LA MORTE DI CAVOUR
Listen to the beginning of "Elegia per la morte di Cavour"
“Brother, a free church in a free country.” Tradition has it that in his last feverish breath, Camillo Benso Count of Cavour whispered these words in the ear if Fra’ Giacomo da Poirino, while the deepening shadows of evening were enveloping his beloved Turin on 6 June 1861.
From London, where he had been living since 1847, Alfredo Piatti took up the cause of the Italian Risorgimento and was able to strike up a friendship with Giuseppe Mazzini and Felice Orsini during their frequent trips to the English capital. Count Carlo Lochis, the husband of Piatti’s daughter, Rosa Costanza, was a volunteer under Garibaldi from 1866 to 1870, and member of the newly formed Italian Parliament in Rome (definitively named the capital of Italy on 27 January 1871), for four legislatures.
The Gazzetta di Bergamo, no.90, 9 November 1860, reports:
“HELP TO THE VOLUNTEERS
Although far away, the famous Alfredo Piatti is always mindful and affectionate of his country, and has spontaneously offered to give a benefit concert in London for the poor families of the volunteers from Bergamo enlisted among Garibaldi’s ranks.
Hindered by his own special circumstances from carrying out this generous thought, he begs you to support this endeavour. He is collecting by contributions from the elect society of that his talents and gifts have acquired for him in the metropolis of London. The sum of 4486 pounds was collected through his effort, and Piatti gave it to our Mayor, together with the names of all the contributors, many of whom included expressions of solidarity for the Italian cause along with their donations. We owe a great tribute of thanks to those who have been so generous to us by extending the hand of charity to ease the burdens of those who are suffering for the sacred cause of independence and liberty; in its new and glorious destiny, Italy will forever remember how much the sons of noble England contributed to the laborious work of its Risorgimento. Bergamo, 5 November 1860”
(V.CAMPLANI, Alfredo Piatti, Bergamo, 1902, p.28)
Morton Latham noted that “adjoining the Casa Lochis at Crocetta is a glazed verandah, where the family commonly had breakfast and which was Piatti’s favourite resort in cold weather. The high road from Bergamo to the west is visible from his verandah. One day, in February 1901, Piatti saw a body of Italian troops marching along this road. ‘That sight,’ he exclaimed, ‘sends a thrill through my heart. How often have I seen Austrian troops on that road.’”
(MORTON LATHAM, Alfredo Piatti, W.E. HILL AND SONS, London, 1901, p.113)
In my revision of the Elegia per la morte di Cavour I have tried to maintain Piatti’s original annotations on fingerings and bowing by writing them above the notes in the cello part. I have given my own suggestions under the notes as possible solutions.
Elegia per la morte di Cavour
for cello and piano
Alfredo Piatti Cello Collection
Editor Christian Bellisario
Pizzicato Verlag Helvetia, PVH 754