Giazotto, Remo

Remo Giazotto (4 September 1910 – 26 August 1998) was a prominent Italian musicologist, critic, and composer who left an indelible mark on the world of classical music. Known for his exhaustive catalog of Tomaso Albinoni's works, Giazotto also contributed significantly to the biographies of other renowned composers like Antonio Vivaldi. This article delves into the life and music of Remo Giazotto, exploring his notable contributions, achievements, and the controversies surrounding his most famous composition, the Adagio in G minor.

Early Life and Education

Born on 4th September 1910, in Italy, Remo Giazotto grew up surrounded by a rich musical heritage. His father, Adalberto Giazotto, was a respected scientist, but young Remo's passion for music became evident from an early age. He pursued his musical education with great enthusiasm, studying composition, music theory, and history, which laid the foundation for his future endeavors.

Career as a Musicologist and Critic

Giazotto's career as a musicologist and critic began to flourish when he joined the Rivista musicale Italiana as a music critic and editor in 1932. During his tenure, he contributed extensively to the publication, sharing his deep insights into various musical genres and composers. His meticulous research and analytical skills garnered him recognition among his peers and established him as a leading authority in the field of musicology.

In 1949, Giazotto took on the role of director for the chamber music programs at the Italian state broadcaster RAI. His expertise in curating and presenting classical music to a wider audience allowed him to bridge the gap between academia and the general public. Additionally, his work as the director of RAI's foreign programs, coordinated through the European Broadcasting Union, showcased his commitment to promoting cultural exchange and appreciation of music on a global scale.

Contributions to Music History

One of Giazotto's most significant contributions to music history is his exhaustive catalog of Tomaso Albinoni's works. Giazotto dedicated years of meticulous research to compile a comprehensive list of Albinoni's compositions, shedding light on the life and musical legacy of this renowned Italian Baroque composer. His catalog serves as a valuable resource for scholars, musicians, and enthusiasts alike, providing a deeper understanding of Albinoni's contributions to the musical landscape.

Biographies of Composers

Apart from his work on Albinoni, Giazotto also authored biographies of several notable composers, including Antonio Vivaldi. His biographical works offer invaluable insights into the lives, influences, and artistic journeys of these influential figures. Giazotto's meticulous attention to detail and his ability to contextualize historical events within the composers' lives make his biographies an essential resource for anyone interested in understanding the lives behind the music.

The Controversy Surrounding the Adagio in G minor

Giazotto's most famous composition, the Adagio in G minor, has captivated audiences worldwide with its hauntingly beautiful melody. However, controversy has surrounded the origin and authenticity of this piece. Giazotto claimed that he transcribed the Adagio from a manuscript fragment of an Albinoni sonata he discovered in the Saxon State Library. Yet, some skeptics have questioned the legitimacy of Giazotto's claims, labeling the Adagio as a musical fake.

Muska Mangano, Giazotto's last assistant before his death, made a significant discovery that sheds new light on the Adagio's origins. Among Giazotto's papers, Mangano found a modern but independent manuscript transcription of the figured bass portion, along with six fragmentary bars of the first violin. These fragments bore a stamp indicating the Dresden provenance of the original source, supporting Giazotto's claim that he did draw from an earlier manuscript for his composition. Furthermore, Giazotto had the piece copyrighted in 1958, further substantiating his authorship.

Legacy and Influence

Remo Giazotto's contributions to the world of music extend far beyond his own compositions. His meticulous research, insightful criticism, and dedication to preserving the musical legacies of composers like Albinoni and Vivaldi have left an indelible mark on music history. Giazotto's works continue to inspire musicians and scholars, shaping our understanding and appreciation of classical music.

Giazotto's tireless efforts to bridge the gap between academia and the public have also had a profound impact. By making classical music more accessible through his work at RAI, he nurtured a deeper appreciation for the genre among a broader audience. His commitment to cultural exchange and promoting music on an international scale has paved the way for future generations of musicians and music enthusiasts.


Remo Giazotto's life and work as a musicologist, critic, and composer have made an enduring impact on the world of classical music. His exhaustive catalog of Tomaso Albinoni's works, biographies of renowned composers, and his controversial composition, the Adagio in G minor, have solidified his place in music history. Giazotto's dedication to his craft, meticulous research, and passion for preserving and promoting classical music have left a lasting legacy that continues to inspire and captivate audiences today.

Violin Compositions of Remo Giazotto | Animato Strings


Sticky Add To Cart