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Antonio Guida
Metodo per Violoncello / Cello Method
edited by Giovanna Barbati and Guido Olivieri

(Treatises and methods, 2)

XXX, 34 pp.; ill.; 21 x 29 cm
Intro and Apparatus in Italian and English

The Metodo  by the Neapolitan cello player Antonio Guida is one of the rare 18th-century Italian sources dedicated to cello teaching. Employed at the Teatro San Carlo and at the Cappella Palatina at the turn of the 18th century, Guida was also cello teacher at the Neapolitan conservatories. His Metodo belongs, therefore, to the prestigious 18th-century Neapolitan pedagogical tradition, represented by legendary virtuosi such as Alborea, Supriani and Lanzetti. This source provides a precise sketch of the pedagogical approach, of the use of advanced techniques, and of the qualities at the time considered essential for the virtuoso cellist. We can derive from this Metodo a complete pedagogical path aimed at developing improvisational skills according to the historical practice, useful as well in the training of modern performers. Guida’s work thus appears as the only known holistic method to improvisation at the cello and opens new perspectives on the study of this instrument. The collection includes exercises, short pieces and duets, from the first to tumb positions, aiming at expanding the improvisational competence through the elaboration of patterns and formulas based on scales, arpeggios and the Rule of the Octave. The systematic approach presented in the Metodo—detailed by the editors in the Introduction to this first modern edition—gives rare and precious indications on the virtuosic technique according to the principles of the Neapolitan school, useful not only to specialists but to all those interested in instrumental virtuosic performance.

Giovanna Barbati is a cellist and viola da gamba player whose repertoire extends from early to contemporary music and who has a special interest in improvisation. Researcher on the cello and viola da gamba early didactic, she regularly holds workshops in historical improvisation. She has contributed to the volume Musical Improvisation in the Baroque Era (Brepols, 2019) and she has collaborated with Guido Olivieri on the edition of Gaetano Francone’s Passagagli (HH, 2021) and Antonio Guida’s Metodo (SEdM, 2021). She recently prepared for the Festival Innsbrucker Festwochen der alten Musik critical editions of the operas Merope by Riccardo Broschi and Idalma by Bernardo Pasquini together with Alessandro De Marchi; L’amazzone corsara by Pallavicino together with Elam Rotem. In October 2021 in collaboration with Catherine Bahn she presented a paper on Rocco Greco’s partimenti for cello at the conference ‘The Figured Bass Accompaniment in Europe’. She appears frequently as a soloist and has given the first performance of a number of works for solo cello, many written especially for her. As a principal cellist and viola player, she collaborated with some of the best baroque orchestras in Europe; for many years she was principal cellist of the orchestra Academia Montis Regalis, with which she toured (including Paris, London e St. Petersburg) as a soloist in 2014. She took part in numerous recordings, which won numerous awards, garnering considerable critical acclaim.

Guido Olivieri teaches musicology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he also directs the Early Music Ensemble “Austinato.” An expert of instrumental music of the 17th and 18th centuries, his research focuses on the circulation of music and musicians in Europe, with specific attention to the development of the string sonata in Naples. Among his most recent publications are the volume Arcomelo 2013. Studi in occasione del terzo centenario della nascita di Arcangelo Corelli (LIM, 2015), and the edition of A. Corelli’s Sonate da camera di Assisi (LIM, 2015). He also authored entries on The New Grove Dictionary of Music, the MGG, and the Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, and published several articles on performance practice, music patronage, and on the cultural exchanges between Naples and other major European capitals. He is currently working in collaboration with Federico Gon at the first critical edition of Domenico Cimarosa’s Il matrimonio segreto published by Bärenreiter. His groundbreaking research - conducted on archival sources - and collaborations with international artists have significantly contributed to the revival of interest on Neapolitan instrumental music and musicians.


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Digital Edition (Support SEdM
ISBN: 979-0-705061-91-8

Paper Edition (on demand: 
ISMN: 979-0-705061-92-5
Price: 20€

Teaching cello improvisation in the 18th century: Antonio Guida’s Method, video presentation in live streaming by Giovanna Barbati and Guido Olivieri for CelloBello Youtube channel, 2022 May, 8. With live music examples (Giovanna Barbati and Eugenio Di Nisio, cello) and Italian subtitles