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Joseph Mazzinghi, The Favorite Overture to the Exile: Joseph Mazzinghi

by Jordan Blackburn and Brett Nickolette

Title Page

Title page of Mazzinghi's Overture to the Exile arrangement

Cover Page for The Overture to The Exile in the Freedman Collection, likely printed around 1821.

Biographical Overview

Little-known composer Joseph Mazzinghi was born to an Italian family in London in 1765. His father was a wine merchant and violinist at Marylebone Gardens, a pleasure garden located in London. He spent his early years studying with his aunt Cassandra Frederich, a pianist on his mother's side. He would continue his studies with some of the best-known European musicians of the time, including Johann Christian Bach (Johann Sebastian Bach's eighteenth child), Antonio Sacchini, and Pasquale Anfonsi. At age ten, he was already working as a church organist at the Portuguese Chapel in London.

Mazzinghi had a sizable musical output published through a partnership with a local company, Goulding, D'Almaine, & Co. Goulding would publish most of his music from about 1792 onwards. He made his living composing and conducting opera in various venues throughout London. Mazzinghi had dismal luck as a musical director, as two opera houses, the King's Theatre and the Theatre Royal, would burn to the ground in the middle of his tenure. Mazzinghi died on January 15, 1844, at the age of 79.

The Freedman Collection at Baldwin Wallace contains several works by Joseph Mazzinghi, many of which are composed or arranged for the pianoforte. The work featured in this digital exhibit is his "Favorite Overture to The Exile," an arrangement for pianoforte of the overture from his 1808 opera The Exile.