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Collection Gaetano Brunetti Manuscript Scores

About this Collection

For much of the 20th century, music's classical period was generally characterized as a Central-European phenomenon, a premise that marginalized contributions from other regions, including Spain. Thankfully, this narrow perspective has been superseded; in fact, recent research has ascertained that the final decades of the 18th century witnessed a dynamic period of modernization of Spanish musical culture due to the intensive creation, dissemination and copying of music. Gaetano Brunetti (1744-1798), an Italian composer and violinist who moved to Spain as a teenager in 1762, was a vital contributor in this country's musical resurgence.

Very few of Brunetti's musical works were published during his lifetime and, consequently, they remained virtually unknown for almost two centuries. Following a handful of late 20th–century musical editions, recordings and journal articles, a comprehensive thematic catalog that includes a biographical summary, details pertaining to the manuscript sources, and essays on the various genres of Brunetti's works was published in 2005 by Professor German Labrador Lopez De Azcona. (Catálogo crítico, temático y cronológico. Colección de monografías, no. 8. Madrid: Asociación española de documentación musical, 2005.)  Besides successfully advancing Brunetti's stature and popularity as a classical composer, Labrador's catalog highlighted the fact that the Library of Congress Music Division holds close to half of Brunetti's extant musical manuscripts, both holograph and contemporary copies, among its collections.

Brunetti's musical works included in this online presentation comprise fifty-three holograph and sixty-four copyist manuscripts. The majority of these works, ninety-four in total, are for chamber music; twenty-two are orchestral works and one is a sacred vocal composition with orchestral accompaniment.