Letters and Company Documents

Letter from Franz Liszt to Tito I Ricordi, 1 May 1868
Page of the so-called “mastrino” ledger, kept by Giovanni Ricordi, concerning years 1814-1816
Page of one of the so-called “libroni”, production ledgers of the new compositions acquired by Casa Ricordi
Letter from Giuseppe Verdi to Giulio Ricordi: “Sad! Sad! Sad! Wagner is dead!!! […] A name that leaves such a powerful mark upon the history of art!!!”, February 15, 1883

The archive includes documents about the history of the publishing house from the 200 years of its existence. First of all, we have Giovanni Ricordi’s “libri mastri”, which span the time from 1814 until the mid-19th century and which summarize and document all contracts concluded. There are also documents from the 100-year existence of the company’s copperplate engraving school; handwritten lists of all editions acquired by Ricordi from 1808 until the present day; a large number of the publishing catalogs published by Ricordi and by the publishers bought up by Ricordi; press reviews with a collection of reviews; original contracts with composers and librettists including Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Puccini, Franco Alfano and Arrigo Boito, among others.

The collection of manuscript letters — about 15 000 of them — covers the time from the beginning of the 19th century until the end of the 20th century. It consists of letters to Casa Ricordi by writers, singers and composers including Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Puccini, Franz Liszt, Ottorino Respighi, Jules Massenet, Alfredo Casella and Luigi Nono; the librettists Luigi Illica, Giuseppe Giacosa and Arrigo Boito; the poet Gabriele d’Annunzio; and the singers Teresa Stolz, Maria Waldmann and Victor Maurel. There are also extensive further inventories from the 20th century, both manuscript and typewritten, letters from Tito I and Giulio, and numerous letters associated with specific works.