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The catalogue of the works of Giovanni Bononcini has been drawn up over the past thirty years on different occasions and with different objectives.
Among the main ones, we can cite the entry by Lowell Lindgren in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1980; 2nd edition, 2001), which is the most complete. Various bibliographical initiatives followed, including the entry in the dictionary Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart (2nd edition 1994-2007), which confirmed Lindgren's data, even though it only included part of his titles (in particular, the cantatas). However, it updated the bibliography and some items in the biography.
Various bibliographical tools have entries on Bononcini: besides the repertories (RISM Series A/I and A/II),there are databases in libraries around the world that house sources for Bononcini and that are continually updated.

The catalogue of the compositions is thus subject to diversified tendencies: if the titles of printed works, of instrumental music, of oratorios and melodramas remain more or less stable, his ca. 300 cantatas (which concern 40.6% of the entire catalogue) are more flexible, not only because of the quantity and tracking of different copies of the same piece, but also because of the same number of individual titles.
For these cantatas, a considerable portion is subject to doubts, attributions and revocations de-attributions, mainly because of the lack of information in manuscript sources (1).


First of all, the cataloguing initiative undertaken by the Fondazione Arcadia aims to cross check existent data and publish them with a new interface allowing convenient, uniform consultation. In this regard, the digital cards related to all of the known works by Giovanni Bononcini have been compiled:

  • through an analytical description articulated in different fields, creating a broad, versatile model for digital cards;
  • by listing all of the titles, including those of dubious attribution, or for which the information is recorded only partially in the original bibliography.

An updated bibliography and discography has been added to this catalogue. The methodology adopted was based on the consultation of all of the dictionaries, databases, editorial catalogues, libraries and information gathered in loco, as well as articles and papers that have appeared in specialized journals: all of the data have been collected and integrated through various working phases and periodic checks.
(For a detailed description of the bibliographical tools used in the cataloguing, go to the webpage (Cataloguing criteria).

The synthesis of different information is thus the most significant result that has come out of this undertaking, to which these further important results can be added:

  • the operation revealed a very high number of inconsistencies between one main bibliographical tool and another
  • checking some of the collected data led to the de-attribution of some titles, in particular, cantatas
  • the collation of different sources made it possible to identify the original title of some pieces (for example, serenatas) catalogued on the premises with the textual incipit only
  • supplementary musical sources or material were found (for example for the librettos)

(1). A very recent publication offers a good summary of the situation with regard to the cantatas: LOWELL LINDGREN, Bononcini's 'agreeable and easie style, and those fine inventions in his basses (to which he was led by an instrument upon which he excels)', in Aspects of the Secular Cantata in Late Baroque Italy, edited by Michael Talbot, Farnham, Ashgate 2009, pp. 135-175.