Ricci, Francesco Pasquale


Ricci, Francesco Pasquale

The Periodical Overture in 8 parts No.2 (Edited by Barnaby Priest and Alyson McLamore / new print)



Ricci, Francesco Pasquale – The Periodical Overture in 8 parts No.2

Published by Robert Bremner at the Harp and Hautboy, opposite Somerset-House, in the Strand
Issued: 1 August 1763; price 2 shillings
Source: Henry Watson Music Library – Courtesy of Manchester Libraries,
Information and Archives, Manchester City Council: BR580RL73
Editors: Barnaby Priest & Alyson McLamore

We do not know how Robert Bremner (c.1713–1789) obtained the overture in E-flat by Francesco Pasquale Ricci (1732–1817) that would be the second issue of the Periodical Overtures. In 1763, Ricci had not yet begun the international travels that would extend his fame beyond his native Italy, nor had he composed the Dies irae setting that would bring him renown in 1773. However, Johann Christian Bach (1735–1782)—composer of Bremner’s inaugural overture—may have played a role. Both men—three years apart in age—had enjoyed the patronage of Count Agostino Litta (1728–1781) in Milan.[1] Moreover, while in Milan, Ricci directed a musical academy that brought amateurs and professionals together for performances.[2] It is possible that the symphony in E-flat that Bremner published had been composed by Ricci for the academy’s concerts. It is interesting to speculate that Bach could have brought a manuscript copy to England and had offered it to Bremner during their discussions about his own composition that would launch the series. Or, perhaps he simply pointed Bremner to his old Milanese colleague as a promising source for a suitable composition. Of course, Bach may have had no involvement whatsoever, and thus, as is the case with all the Periodical Overture publications, the pathway between publisher and composer remains unknown.
Regardless of how Bremner obtained Periodical Overture No. 2, it was one of Ricci’s earliest publications, if not the very first. Rather than following the path of his prosperous merchant family, Ricci’s career had started in the service of the church: after ordination as a priest in 1758, “Abbate” Ricci was hired by the Como Cathedral the following year to be the maestro di cappella and organist.[3] The cathedral granted him leave in 1764, however, and he traveled widely for many years, journeying to Austria, France, Germany, England, Switzerland, and especially the Netherlands.[4] He appeared in numerous concerts in The Hague between 1766 and 1780, and most of his published music was issued there or in Amsterdam. Although he had made brief visits to Como during those years, he returned for good in 1780 and left his estate to the city’s Ospedale S. Anna, where he died in 1817. …

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Score Data

Score Number


Special Edition

Periodical Overtures Edition






210 x 297 mm


New print

Performance Materials


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