[Ads-l] Rossini Quotation

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Sat May 12 12:58:33 EDT 2018

I've seen a great actor praised at being able to read a laundry list with
effect -- and more than one, at that.

laundress list: my paperback Dizionario Garzanti doesn't have "lavandaia",
(I have a fuller dictionary, which I can't find right now) but I think this
would be better as a possessive: laundress' list
un poeta la metta prima in ottenari = if we read "ott*o*nari" instead of
"ott*e*nari" then this means "a poet first puts it into verses of eight
Dio mi guardi = (I think) God keep me from taking too seriously. . . .

And Rossini was born in Pesaro, hence "the great Pesarese"


On Sat, May 12, 2018 at 11:57 AM, ADSGarson O'Toole <
adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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
> https://hdl.handle.net/2027/wu.89000640581
> https://hdl.handle.net/2027/wu.89000640581?urlappend=%3Bseq=293
> [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
> quickly.
> [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
> https://hdl.handle.net/2027/njp.32101076382314
> https://hdl.handle.net/2027/njp.32101076382314?urlappend=%3Bseq=404
> [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

George A. Thompson
The Guy Who Still Looks Stuff Up in Books.
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998.

But when aroused at the Trump of Doom / Ye shall start, bold kings, from
your lowly tomb. . .
L. H. Sigourney, "Burial of Mazeen", Poems.  Boston, 1827, p. 112

The Trump of Doom -- also known as The Dunghill Toadstool.  (Here's a
picture of his great-grandfather.)

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

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