Pacini, Giovanni

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Pacini, Giovanni

Pacini, Giovanni, Italian composer; b. Catania, Feb. 17,1796; d. Pescia, Dec. 6,1867. He was a pupil of Marchesi and Padre Mattei at Bologna, and of Furlan-etto at Venice. His first opera was Don Pomponio (1813; not perf.), followed by Annetta e Luanda (Milan, Oct. 17, 1813); by 1835 he had produced over 40 operas on various Italian stages, when the failure of Carlo di Borgogna (Feb. 21, 1835) at Venice temporarily checked the flow of dramatic composition. He went to Viareggio, near Lucca, and established a very successful school of music, for which he wrote several short treatises, Corso teoretico-pratico di lezioni di armonia (Milan, c. 1844), and Cenni storici sulla musica e trattato di contrappunto (Lucca, 1864), and built a private theater. Later he removed the school to Lucca. In 1840 Pacini, who prided himself on rapid work, wrote his dramatic masterpiece, Saffo, in 28 days (Naples, Nov. 29, 1840). Forty more operas followed to 1867, the best of which were Medea (Palermo, Nov. 28, 1843), La Regina di Cipro (Turin, Feb. 7, 1846), and Niccolo de Lapi (1857; Florence, Oct. 29, 1873). He also wrote numerous oratorios. He excelled in melodic invention, although his early style prompted Rossini to exclaim “God help us if he knew music: no one could resist him.” He was also an active contributor to several music? 1 papers. He pubi, memoirs as Le mie memorie artistiche (Florence, 1865; enl. by Cicconetti, 1872; rev. by F. Magnani, 1875). His brother, Emilio Pacini (b. 1810; d. Neuilly, near Paris, Dec. 2, 1898), was a distinguished librettist.


M. Davini, II maestro G. P. (Palermo, 1927).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire