João José Baldi (1770-1816), son of Carlo Baldi (d.1779) Mestre de Capela of the Santa Igreja Patriarcal, was an organist and one of the principal Portuguese composers of his time. Much information about Baldi comes from Vieira (1900) who states that shortly after the completion of his education at the Seminário Patriarcal, he composed two masses dated 1789, autograph scores and parts for which are preserved to this day in P-Lf. The same year he became Mestre de Capela at the Sé da Guarda, occupying the position until 1796 (Geada 1990, p. 49). After a transfer to the Sé de Faro he returned to Lisbon in 1800 to fulfil the role of second master at the Real Capela da Bemposta before becoming first master there in 1806 following the death of Luciano Xavier dos Santos. In 1807, he was nominated Mestre of the Seminário da Patriarcal at a salary of 50$000 réis (Fernandes 2009, p. 379). In the Breve descripção dos espectaculos que a Companhia Nacional do Theatro da Rua dos Condes offerece gratuitamente ao público (Lisbon: Simão Thaddeo Ferreira, 1808) [http://purl.pt/29431], he is named ‘their royal highnesses servant and Seminary master’ (‘Criado de S[uas]. A[ltezas]. R[eais]. e Mestre do Seminário’).
In 1803, Baldi dedicated an orchestral mass to Fernando Maria de Sousa Coutinho (1776–1834), the second marquess of Borba, the autograph score of which survives (P-Ln, F.C.R. 014//7), though without any indication of the work’s dedication on the manuscript itself. According to Vieira, it was always chosen for performance on occasions when a grand effect was required. In 1820, Baldi’s disciple Frei José Marques e Silva arranged the orchestral parts for organ (P-Ln, F.C.R. 198//024). It continued to be performed within the living memory of Vieira (1848–1915) and was known to him as the ‘missa do marquez de Borba’. The recollections of Eusébio Gomes (Azevedo 1985, pp. 10, 187-188) record that Baldi’s masses were also performed during and after his lifetime at the Basilica of Mafra. The Library of Mafra preserves copies of several works that Baldi wrote for the Basilica and its six organs, the earliest of which dates from 1805.
The Fundo do Conde de Redondo in P-Ln appears to contain the largest group of Baldi autographs in existence; others are to be found in P-La, including a work erroneously attributed to Marcos Portugal, P-EVc, P-Lf, P-Mp and P-FAs. A dedicated study of Baldi’s music and its sources is yet to be undertaken.
João M. B. de Azevedo, Biblioteca do Palácio Nacional de Mafra. Catálogo dos Fundos Musicais (Lisbon: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, 1985).
António Baptista, ‘Representação da informação musical da Coleção de Manuscritos da Fábrica da Sé do Patriarcado de Lisboa: inventário’, Masters dissertation (Universidade de Lisboa, 2020).
Cristina Fernandes, ‘Baldi, Carlo’, Dicionário Biográfico do Núcleo Caravelas do CESEM/NOVA FCSH (2010), [https://dicionario-biografico.caravelas.fcsh.unl.pt/node/16].
Cristina Fernandes, ‘O sistema produtivo da Música Sacra em Portugal no final do Antigo Regime: a Capela Real e a Patriarcal entre 1750 e 1807’, PhD thesis (Universidade de Évora, 2009).
António Jorge Marques, A obra religiosa de Marcos António Portugal (1762-1830): catálogo temático, crítica de fontes e de texto, proposta de cronologia (Lisbon: Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal, 2012), pp. 672, 797-798.
José Joaquim Pinto Geada, A música na Sé da Guarda: séc. XIII–séc. XIX: subsídios para um esboço histórico (Guarda: Museu da Guarda, 1990).
Mariana Amélia Machado Santos, Biblioteca da Ajuda. Catálogo de música manuscrita, vol. 1 (Lisbon: Biblioteca da Ajuda, Ministério da Educação Nacional, 1958).
Robert Stevenson, ‘Baldi, João José’, Oxford Music Online: Grove Music Online (2001), [https://doi.org/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.01852].
Ernesto Vieira, Diccionario biographico de musicos portuguezes: historia e bibliographia da musica em Portugal, 2 vols. (Lisbon: Typographia Mattos Moreira & Pinheiro, 1900), i, pp. 83-90, ii, p. 418.
- Handwriting identifiers
- Type 2
- Type 2
- Type 1
- Single quaver (stem down)
- Type 3