Maria Luigia of Habsburg-Lorraine Musical Archive

Nicolini, Giuseppe, Sei ariette di Metastasio, Wien, Pietro Mechetti – ML 168

The Collection is a precious testimony of the passion and the musical practice of Maria Luigia, empress of France from 1810-1814 and duchess of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla from 1816 to 1847, supporting all her cultural development from the early years in Paris, where she had Ferdinando Paër as teacher, to the whole period in Parma. The Archive was inherited by the archduke Leopoldo of Habsburg-Lorraine, son of the viceroy of the Lombard-Venetian Kingdom Ranieri, and in 1850 was donated to the Library of Parma thanks to the inetrest of the librarian Angelo Pezzana.
The musical compositions are contained in more than 600 volumes, splendidly bound with red and green Morocco leather with golden impressions, and 135 files divided by the musical genre. This proves the advanced musical culture of Paris and Vienna, as well as the intense musical activity in the duchy of Parma.
The different music genres are represented inside the Archive: from the chamber music and the symphonic music played during the balls in the royal palace, to the sacred music used for the church services in S. Ludovico Chapel and the theatrical music that reflects the passion of Maria Luigia for the opera. 
In the collection there's also a manuscript called Index of the Court Academies from 30th November 1821 to 12th Jauary 1827, that contains the plans of the concerts, including the names of the performers; the duchess herself, who was a good harpsichord amateur, took part of those concerts, together with other aristocrats, professionals of the Ducal Orchestra and, sometimes, some passing virtuoso.