Presented at the Grieg Conference in Rome June 7, 2004
Domenico Carboni, Italy
Professor, Sta. Cecilia Academy in Rome
GRIEG AND SGAMBATI IN ROME
SGAMBATI NO LONGER LIVES HERE
Giovanni Sgambati no longer lives at 93 Piazza di Spagna. He was evicted from his flat where, as can be seen from the memorial plaque affixed by the R. Accademia Filarmonica Romana, “he lived far thirty-seven years and died on 14 December 1914”. It is true that his bodily remains left the house at the date inscribed on the plaque, but the engraved dates make it appear that the maestro had lived there uninterruptedly until his death. His daughter-in-law Giuseppina, the sole surviving descendant, had religiously kept everything as if her father were still alive: his pencils and glasses lay on the desk, while on a shelf were his conductor’s batons. One of these, made out of ebony, had a silver handle on which was engraved “Liszt to Giovanni Sgambati, director of the Dante Symphony”. In a display case a visiting card from Johannes Brahms lay propped up against a coffee cup, and in the centre of the salon, pride of place was given to Liszt’s favourite chair.
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Domenico Carboni paper 2004