In the last few years, more interest and demand has been generated in performing the music of Francesco Azopardi, particularly by Maltese musicians, European choirs and orchestras. The strength of Azopardi’s music lies in the fact that it was always written with a specific purpose or commemoration in mind – such as the famous Requiem Mass in F minor (1792) which was commissioned for the death of King Leopold II of Austria. The book demonstrates Azopardi as a prolific composer who was in touch with the mainstream ideas of the most important European musical centres such as Naples, Paris and Monaco di Baviera (Munich), among other places. Azopardi composed several larger works such as the Oratorio La Passione di Cristo, three Grande Messe for two choirs, soloists and two orchestras, with arias and choruses reflecting the Neapolitan operatic style of Nicola Piccinni and Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, as well as a large number of psalms, te deums, solemn hymns and sequences. There have also been attempts at editing and publishing, performing and recording of his instrumental music, especially the sinfonias (short sonata-da-chiesa form).
Azopardi’s musical dedication, however, was directed towards the composition of music for the cathedral, in concordance with his role as Maestro di Cappella, as well as teaching composition through his own treatises: Il Musico Prattico (I) and Il Musico Pratico (II). These two treatises are analysed here with the last expanded version of Il Musico Pratico in four books. These two important treatises are here presented for the first time in their proper historical perspective which includes also a comparative study and analysis of the two.