[Ads-l] Rossini Quotation

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sat May 12 11:57:18 EDT 2018

Fred Shapiro, Fred wrote:
> I am trying to trace a quotation, attributed to Rossini: "Give me a laundry list
> and I'll [or 'I will'] set it to music."  In a little bit of searching the earliest I have
> found it is from 1941.  I would welcome any help in finding pre-1941 occurrences
> of this in English or in Italian.

Fun question. Here are matches in Italian in 1914 and 1913 for the
statement attributed to Rossini. Please double check for errors. I do
not know any Italian, so I am employing Google Translate which creates
flawed text. Rossini died in 1868, so there is probably considerable
room for improvement of these citations.

Year: 1914
Title: Musicisti contemporanei; saggi critici
Author: Ildebrando Pizzetti
Publisher: Fratelli Treves, Milano
Section: I versi "per musica,,.
Quote Page 272 and 273
Database: HathiTrust


[Begin excerpt]
Essi potrebbero quasi ripetere, con Rossini, che anche la lista della
lavandaia si può mettere in musica; sottintendendo solamente (come
doveva sottintenderlo Rossini): purchè un poeta la metta prima in
ottenari coi quali la musica possa marciare speditamente.
[End excerpt]

[Begin Google translation]
They could almost repeat, with Rossini, that even the laundress list
can be put into music; implying only (as Rossini had to imply): as
long as a poet puts it first in obtainances with which music can march
[End Google translation]

Year: 1913
Periodical: Rivista d'Italia
Anno 16, Volume 2
Section: Giuseppe Verdi
Start Page 398, Quote Page 398
Publication: Piazza Cavour, Roma
Database: HathiTrust


[Begin excerpt]
Il Verdi intese, meglio del Rossini, il compito che alla musica è
assegnato nel melodramma. Dio mi guardi dal prendere troppo sul serio
l'espressione del grande Pesarese, che si dichiarava disposto a
musicare la nota...della lavandaia.
[End excerpt]

[Begin Google translation]
The Verdi understood, better than Rossini, the task assigned to music
in melodrama. God look at me from taking too seriously the expression
of the great Pesarese, who declared himself disposed to music the note
... of laundress.
[End Google translation]

Garson O'Toole

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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