In that period between 13th and 15th February in 1945 the British and the US air forces dropped tons of high-explosive bombs on the city of Dresden. The bombing and the resulting fires destroyed also the Dresden Library, which was preserved with most of its collection by the American and British troops after the war.
Remo Giazotto was an Italian musicologist and composer, mostly known through his systematic catalogue of the works of the 18th century composer Tomaso Albinoni. His research brought him also to Dresden after the war.
Giazotto said that he discovered in the Dresden Library a manuscript fragment by Albinoni probably composed in 1807. Giazotto reconstructed a complete work based on this fragmentary theme. He copyrighted and published it in 1958, under the title “Adagio in G Minor for Strings and Organ, on Two Thematic Ideas and on a Figured Bass by Tomaso Albinoni”. Today the piece is generally known as Albinoni’s Adagio.
Giazotto never produced the manuscript fragment, and no official record of its presence has been found.
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Giazotto -known more for his writing abilities than compositions- later declared that the Adagio was completely composed by him. It is up to us to believe him or not. ☺
Tomaso Albinoni’s Adagio: Copernicus Chamber Orchestra, Horst Sohm conducting
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