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Mabellini, Teodulo

(b Pistoia, 2 April 1817; d Florence, 10 March 1897). Italian composer and

conductor. The son of Vincenzo Mabellini, a wind instrument maker, he took his
first lessons in harmony and composition in Pistoia from the maestri di cappella
and the organists Giuseppe Pilotti (who had studied with Stanislao Mattei) and
Giuseppe Gherardeschi. In 1833 he moved to Florence, where he completed his
studies at the Istituto Musicale in 1836. The same year he made his dbut as a
composer with the opera Matilde di Toledo, the success of which earned him a
scholarship from the Grand Duke Leopold II. He then went to Novara to study with
Mercadante, and in 1840 produced Rolla, his most successful opera, in Turin. In
1842 he returned to Pistoia, but a year later settled in Florence, accepting aninvitation to become
director of the orchestra of the Societ Filarmonica; this
involved him from 1863 to 1880 in directing the grandiose Concerti Popolari (with
100 performers), promoted by Abramo Basevi. These contributed greatly to an
increased knowledge in Italy of the great German and Austrian symphonic works.
In 1847 Mabellini was appointed maestro di cappella to the grand ducal court and
in 1848 became conductor at the Teatro della Pergola. The governor of Tuscany
finally conferred on him the chair of composition at the Istituto Reale Musicale L.
Cherubini in 1859. In 1869 he wrote the Lux aeterna for the abortive Rossini
requiem organized by Verdi. He taught until 1887 and trained many promising
pupils. The city of Pistoia built a theatre in his honour and gave it his name.
As a composer Mabellini had many strong qualities, notably an ability to work
successfully in different genres, a mastery of counterpoint and orchestration, a
solid musical grounding, a sure technique and a conscious adherence to the great
Classical tradition. But none of these could redeem his numerous works (not even
Rolla and the Requiem, the most famous of them) from the fundamental lack of an
individual, original and genuinely creative musical personality, and they are now
completely forgotten. His fame today rests on his promotion of Italian musical
Operas: Matilde di Toledo (os, 2) Florence, Alfieri, 27 Aug 1836; Rolla (os, 2, G.
Giachetti), Turin, Carignano, 12 Nov 1840, I-Mr*, vs (Milan, 1841); Ginevra degli
Almieri [Ginevra di Firenze] (os, 3, L. Guidi-Rontani), Turin, Carignano, 13 Nov
1841; Il conte di Lavagna (tragedia lirica, 4, F. Guidi), Florence, Pergola, 4 June
1843, vs (Milan, ?1844); I veneziani a Costantinopoli (os, 2), Rome, Apollo, spr.
1844; Maria di Francia (dramma tragico, 3, Guidi), Florence, Pergola, 14 March
1846; Il venturiero (ob, 2, A. de Lauzires), Livorno, Rossini, carn. 1851, collab. L.
Gordigiani; Il convito di Baldassarre (os, 3, G. de Toscani), Florence, Pergola, Nov
1852; Fiammetta (ob, 3, G.B. Canovai), Florence, Pergola, 12 Feb 1857, excerpts,
pf acc. (Milan, n.d.)
Vocal, solo vv, vv, orch: Eudossia e Paolo, o I martiri (orat, L. Venturi), vs
(Florence, 1845); Lultimo giorno di Gerusalemme (dramma liturgico, G. Barsottini),
Florence, 1857; LItalia risorta (Cempini), inno nazionale toscano, perf. 1847;
Michelangelo Buonarroti, sym. ode, perf. 1875; Inno allarte, 1886
Cants., solo vv, vv, orch: La caccia, 1839, Raffaello Sanzio, 1842, excerpts (Milan,
c1842); Il ritorno, 1846; LEtruria, 1849; Cant. elegiaca, 1850; Saul, 1857; Le feste
fiorentine delle potenze e degli omaggi allusanza del secolo XIV (S. Fioretti), 1860,
vs (Florence, ?1860); Gli orti oricellari, perf. 1863; Lo spirito di Dante, perf. 1865,
arr. org acc. (Milan, n.d.); Le feste rossiniane, 1873
Sacred: 4 masses, solo vv, vv, orch: e, 1843, F, for the wedding of Grand Duke
Ferdinand of Tuscany, 1852, b, 1862, F, 1863; Mass, E, solo vv, str orch, 1840;
Mass, b, solo vv, orch, 1847; Messa solenne, F, solo vv, vv, org, vc, db, 1882;

Requiem, c, 4 solo vv, vv, orch/org (Paris, ?1851); Qui tollis, solo vv, vv, orch,
1872; Quoniam, solo vv, vv, orch, 1872; Agnus Dei, solo vv, vv, orch, 1872; Libera
me, 4 solo vv, vv, orch, 1856; Lux aeterna, terzetto, orch, for Rossini requiem,
1869; Ave Maria, T, vv, vn obbl, orch, 1867 (Milan, n.d.); Ecce sacerdos magnus, 4
solo vv, vv, orch, for visit of Pius IX to Florence, 1857; Responsories for Holy
Week, 8vv, str orch, 1847 (Florence, c1860); Stabat mater; Tantum ergo; Te Deum,
4vv, orch (Milan, n.d.); Domine ad adjuvandum, 1873; Laudate pueri, 1873
Other works: Sinfonia, D, 1838; marches, 6 waltzes, wind insts; Gran fantasia, fl,
hn, tpt, trbn, orch, for the installation of Grand Duke of Tuscany, 1846; Conc. perquartino, cl,
flugelhorn, tpt, bar saxhorn (Florence, n.d.); Fantasia a terzetto, cl,
flugelhorn, bar saxhorn (Florence, n.d.); songs; pf pieces
DEUMM (F. Bussi)
FtisB [with list of works]
Ricordi dei parentali a Teodulo Mabellini in Pistoia (Florence, 1899)
M. Giannini: Mabellini e la musica (Pistoia, 1899)
A. Simonatti: Teodulo Mabellini (18171897) (Pistoia, 1923)
S. Martinotti: Ottocento strumentale italiano (Bologna, 1972)