[Anonimo del XIX sec., Ritratto di Marianna Motroni Andreozzi. Bologna, Civico Museo Bibliografico Musicale.]
Marianna Bottini, née Motroni-Andreozzi was born on the 7th of November 1802 in Lucca. She sang, played harp and piano, and from an early age, was also a prolific composer of various musical genres, both sacred and secular. She is generally known as Marinna Bottini, but much of her music was written before she took the name of her husband in 1823 and it was her custom to use the initials MMA to sign her works and annotations.
She studied counterpoint with Maestro Domenico Quilici, an important musical personality in Lucca, and first director of the new Court Cappella of Lucca under Elisa Baciocchi, sister of Napoleone Bonaparte. The connection between young Marianna and her maestro extended to performing as well. In fact some of the sacred pieces Marianna composed, such as her Motet for soprano and orchestra of 1818 and a Qui Tollis and Quoniam for Bass and orchestra of 1819 were included in more large-scale works by her teacher. The frontispieces of the scores include these words: “to be used in the Mass by Quilici.” At the same time, it can be ascertained from annotations in the manuscripts of works by Quilici, that they these had been written to be performed by Marianna herself, referred to as la signorina Andreozzi Motroni Marianna, or la Nobil Donzella Sig.ra Marianna Andreozzi Motroni.
Marianna went on to be accepted, as “honorary master composer” into the Accademia Filarmonica of Bologna, a prestigious and exclusive musical association and institution, highly sought after by musicians and composers from all over Europe. One of the compositions she presented for admittance was her Requiem Mass composed in 1819 in memory of her mother. She received her diploma in December of 1820, but subsequently as well, in 1822, she submitted works to the Accademia, for which she received praise: “for such inspired music, considering her ‘green’ age.”
Aside from the Requiem Mass of 1819, one of Marianna Bottini’s most important sacred works is the Mass for four voices and full orchestra, composed in 1822, together with a Motet and a Sinfonia for full orchestra, for the Feast of Saint Cecilia. In fact, Marianna stands out as the only woman composer to have had the honor of seeing her works performed in the three solemn services celebrated by the Confraternity of Saint Cecilia in honor of their patron saint. She participated four other times, in 1825, 1828, 1832, and 1834.
Marianna’s diary, which she wrote in French, in letter form, informs us that one year before her marriage, she travelled to Naples with her father, and marveled at the musical scene there. She intimates in this diary, that her intense musical interests overshadowed her more scholastic studies, and for this she had feelings of inadequacy, which is also what led her to write her diary in French. She was an only child and a nobildonna, so a lot was expected of her, both from her father and from the society in which she lived.
After the intense period of musical productivity of her later teens, she married the Marquis Lorenzo Bottini in 1823, becoming part of a family already connected with the musical world of Lucca and the court of Elisa Baciocchi. Her mother-in-law Teresa was, in fact, an accomplished singer and harpist.
Marianna became a wife, and then a mother, and it is apparent from the diminishing number of works composed by her in these years, that her focus gradually turned to her family. Documents show that she was very involved in administering the family estate.
Both Marianna and her mother-in-law had, over the years, accumulated an impressive collection of manuscripts and scores by various composers, and of diverse genres. The entire collection is still intact today and is housed in the library of the Istituto Musicale “Luigi Boccherini” in Lucca. It’s called the Fondo Bottini (Bottini Collection) and is divided into three parts: Teresa’s library, Marianna’s Library, and Marianna’s music. Marianna’s scores are collected in 15 volumes, recently restored. The existence of both score and parts, with clear evidence of handling, indicates that her compositions were used in performance.
Marianna died in Lucca on January 24, 1858.
Catalogo delle composizioni:
-MUSICA VOCALE SACRA
Messa Composta per la festa di S. Cecilia l’anno
Messa da Requiem
Mottetto composto dalla Signora M.B di anni 15 e mezzo 1818
Mottetto per Soprano composto nel dicembre 1819
Mottetto per Santa Cecilia Composto da me medesima l’anno 1822
Qui Tollis (1818)
Qui tollis Composto nel dicembre 1819
Quoniam Composto nel dicembre 19819
Stabat Mater a tre voci composta da MMA il 1819
Stabat Mater a tre voci composto da me med. MMA nel febbraio 1820
-MUSICA VOCALE PROFANA
Elena e Gerardo (1822)
Tratto da Pindemonte (1796)
Cantata “Cantiamo, Cantiamo”
Cantata composta da MMA per la casa Orsucci
Briseide Cantata composta da MMB
Cantata composta dalla illustre Madamigella Andreozzi 11 ottobre 1819
Recitativo e aria “ Se della Musica Arte”
Scena e Aria “Dove son’io”
Duetto “Su quella mano…”
-MUSCIA VOCALE DA CAMERA
Arie, Romanze e Canzoni per voce e arpa o chitarra o pianoforte
Balletto “Il Molinaro”
Sinfonia composta dalla Sigra MMA/A dì 21 Luglio 1818/Di Anni 15
Sinfonia per la Banda di Lucca composta in novembre 1819
4 composizioni per Orchestra
Concerto per clarinetto
Concertone/a piena Orchestra P°Forte Composti da me/M:M:A:/L’Anno 1822
-MUSICA DA CAMERA
Quartetto per Arpa, pianoforte, clarino e corno
Trii con arpa
Schizzo per pianoforte e violino composto dalla Signora MMA l’anno 1920 il 12 settembre
Vari temi e variazioni per 2 strumenti
2 Sonate per arpa e fortepiano
Composizioni e variazioni per uno strumento (arpa sola o pianoforte)
-MUSICA DA BALLO (3 o 4 strumenti)
1 “Quadriglia francese” per 2vl, cl, b
3 Contradanze francesi
10 Contradanze inglesi
L. Nerici Storia della musica in Lucca (Lucca, 1880)
D. Sansone Il ‘Fondo Bottini’dell’Istituto Boccherini di Lucca (thesis, U. of Pisa, 1989–90)
M.S. La Pusata Marianna Bottini (1802–1858), compositrice lucchese: biografia e catalogo tematico delle sue musiche (thesis, U. of Pisa, 1989–90)
G. Battelli, Concerto di Clarino in Beffà, PNV, Pisa 2008