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from the Col. Frank V. de Bellis Collection, M2.5 v. 71     push button

Farinelli was the stage name of Carlo Broschi (1705–1782), by all accounts the most famous singer of the eighteenth century. He grew up in Naples and studied with Porpora, the teacher of many famous singers and, later in Vienna, of Haydn. Farinelli was a celebrity of the first magnitude whose god-like stature was depicted in the 1994 movie Farinelli. Though primarily known as a performer, he was an all-around musician who also composed. The solfeggi reproduced here, preserved today at San Francisco State University, were purchased in the mid twentieth century by Colonel Frank V. de Bellis, a wealthy American of Italian descent who gave the university his impressive library of Italian music manuscripts. The manuscript transcribed here presents eight pairings of adagio and allegro solfeggi. Only the melodies have been preserved. In style these solfeggi are Neapolitan to the core. A student might thus use them, in the manner of French chants donnĂ©es, as exercises in composing the missing basses.