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The contents of this extensive ephemeral archive comprise:

Volume I: 76 programmes, four invitations/tickets, nine autograph manuscript or typescript letters, 150 newspaper clippings, and one carte de visite. Volume 2: 104 programmes, six tickets/invitations, fourteen autograph manuscript or typescript letters, 85 textual news clippings, and three photographic clippings.

A remarkably wide ranging collection charting the career of contemporarily well regarded violinist and conductor Arrigo Bocchi, who’s sextet journalists referred to as “now well known to Londonders, who appreciate their musicianly qualities and mastery of their several instruments... each is a first class soloist, hence the excellence of their ensemble playing. Signor Bocchi has studied at the Naples Conservatoire... they play with the greatest artistic feeling and expression”. Both performing as a soloist as well as conducting others in a variety of billings from vocal recitals to full orchestral productions under an array of guises (including, but not limited to: Bocchi’s Sextet; Royal Italian Sextet; The Bocchi Sextet; Bocchi’s Orchestra; Royal Drawing Room Sextet). The musical range of the violinist-conductor appears to have been exceptionally broad,, including those originally composed by: Wagner; Strauss; Bizet; Grieg; Gounod; Saint-Saëns; Brahms; Mozart; Mendelssohn; alongside Bocchi’s countrymen Verdi; Mascagni; and Tosti.

Alongside the heavily commercial promotional material relating to west end performances, many of the programmes included in this largely Fin de Siècle collection were produced for intimate concerts, soirees, and private celebrations (including a diamond wedding, before the Prince of Wales, and various London clubs), and would presumably would thus have been printed in very limited quantities. The very ephemeral nature of these items points to the scarcity of their survival. Aside from his published musical score Foglie d'Album. Quattro composizioni per Piano-Forte (London, 1895), there are no records in OCLC of any material relating to Bocchi in institutional libraries.


Highlights include Strawberry Hill, musical performances conducted by Bocchi, July 13th 1898; Buckingham Palace, for His Royal Highness  Prince Charles of Denmark [later King Haakon VII of Norway], as noted by the thank you note to Bocchi on Palace headed notepaper; Marie Tempest, with Bocchi providing the musical accompaniment, alongside George Grossmith at The Queen’s Hall, Langham Place, thursday July 16, 1896; Victoria Circulating Library, where Bocchi’s Trio performed ten pieces including works by Mendelssohn, Brahms, Wagner and Gounod; London Clubland, multiple and various including Grosvenor, Nimrod, and Sheen House.

Bocchi, Arrigo

SKU: 1117
  • [An extensive collection of ephemeral material relating to the musical career of violinist-conductor Arrigo Bocchi in Italy and London]. Italy & London, 1888 - 1900.
    2 vols oblong octavo. Vol I, 80 leaves, vol II, 103 leaves. Uniform red buckram title in gilt to upper boards "ALBUM MEMOIRE DE ENRICHO BOCCHI". Worn, stained, both volumes lacking spine covering. Some marking and browning internally. Programmes and letters sometimes
    folded, and occasionally only part present. 

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