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11/26/95: I’m writing about Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore. In the orchestra score, the Preludio begins with an empty first measure, and the opera begins with a pickup to the third measure. This full empty measure is quite unusual. In addition, I notice that Felix Mottl’s piano reduction omits this first, empty measure and begins with the partial measure containing the pickup. Other vocal scores follow the full orchestra score. Can you explain the purpose of the opening bar?

I eliminate that first bar as did my uncle and Tullio Serafin. I think that that first bar was to establish the tempo clearly at a time when (usually) there was no conductor for this kind of music.

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