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G.B. Marzuttini biography

Giovanni Battista Marzuttini was born in Udine the 9th February 1863. He was the first of five children; the others were: Carlo, Giuseppe, Anna and Ida. His father, Paolo, belonged to a rich family and his mother, Maria, was Carlo Facci's sister.

Mr. Facci was a well-known Italian patriot and also a good piano player, but however did not want to teach music to the young nephew Tita of whom he was the main educator.

From 1869 to 1873 Tita attended the four years of primary school at Stabilimento alle Grazie in Udine. One of his schoolmates was Nicoḷ Serafini, who will be one of his best friends forever.

Then, he attended three years of "Ginnasio" (classical studies), but in 1876 his father and his uncle Carlo obliged him to go to the Military College in Milan, which was under direction of colonel Bava Beccaris who will become sadly famous for a bloody popular repression (1898).

The young Tita was already an artist and he couldn't stand military life, so in 1878 he abandoned the Military College and came back to Udine. Here he attended technical studies, but after a few months he realized that he had taken a bad choice, since what he wanted to do was to paint.

Four years later (1882) he met Cesare Simonetti, who loved painting too, and both went to Florence to attend the Accademia delle Belle Arti. Stefano Ussi, who was at that time a famous painter, became one of Tita's professors in Florence. He considered Tita a promising painter, but not all the professors in Florence were of the same opinion: Tita failed geometric painting exam and this unsuccessful experience made him to go back home, even if he had acquired the title of painting teacher.

In Udine Tita began to study classic music full time. His professor was the famous musician Luigi Cuoghi. Very soon Tita became well-known and appreciated. In 1885 he was called to direct the Tarcento band, an event which would have influenced his whole life. In Tarcento he meets Maria Troiano, who four years later will become his wife. Tita and Maria will have five kids, but only two of them (Guido, born in 1894, and Arnaldo, born in 1901) will survive to childhood. The three daughters of the couple (Elda, Elda and Elena Elefteria) will die as babies.

In 1887 Tarcento band came to an end. Tita and his friend Nicoḷ Serafini gave birth to Circolo Mandolinistico in Udine: they wanted to make known and appreciated mandolin, which was a musical instrument almost totally undiscovered in Friuli.

In 1890 Tita created the Circolo Mandolinistico in Trieste, which he directed until 1897. In Trieste he met Carlo Schmidl, a music editor, who will publish many Tita's operas, among which are the twenty-four mandolin pieces of music (in 1894), the famous "Method for mandolin" in 1898 (also translated in four languages) and "The complete method for guitar" in 1913.

In 1897 Tita was obliged to come back to Udine to financially sustain his family. He had to abandon music and start a completely different activity: he began to sell and repair cars. Soon he became the Garage delle Grazie's director, he made the Garage Society and finally he established with engineer Carlo Fachini the Garage Friulano, in which he will actively work for the next twenty years.

In 1910 he planned and designed an airplane, which unfortunately will never fly. Then, he began to create cars and to take photos, but Tita will never love these technical activities as much as painting and music. In fact, he strongly wanted to be considered by people only as a painter and a musician.

In 1914 Tita built in Udine a toys factory, which had an enormous success. Even King Vittorio Emanuele III was delighted by Tita's toys and wanted to officially recognize his artistic ability with a gold medal.

The First World War was however approaching: Tita's elder son, Guido, was obliged to join the army. Tita and Maria suffered this unavoidable event and were almost always fearing that Guido could have died. Then came Caporetto Italian defeat (24th October 1917) which effects were terrible in Friuli: almost everything was destroyed by the austro-hungarian army unconstrained invasion. Marzuttini family, together with engineer Carlo Fachini, had to live Udine for Milan, where they had another toys factory.

In 1918 Tita went to Naples to direct the Ingano & Di Lauro establishment, in which mechanical components for airplanes' motors were made. That was a very good time for Tita who was liking his job and having also several work gratifications. The war was far from Naples, but not in the heart of Tita and Maria who were always worried for their son Guido. In Naples they were informed that Guido had died. It happened on July 17th 1918, during the Ardre battle in France close to Reims, a French and Italian defeat which caused the death of thousands of soldiers.

In 1919 Tita, Maria and their only survived son Arnaldo managed to come back to Udine, but they found their house completely destroyed and it was impossible to rebuild it. They had to move to Fauglis, a very small village in the Friuli flat where they owned a modest country house.

From now on, Tita will be deeply touched by the loss of his son. He will never know where Guido has been buried, so he will never be able to have a grave upon which to cry his death. Maria will receive from the Italian Ministry a silver medal in memory of the courage of his son. She will also receive a war pension being the mother of a hero, but she will refuse it saying that "the blood of a son can not be paid".

Tita will devote himself totally to paint and music. He will compose four Masses, three of them which have never been played at all yet. Only Rosa Mystica will be played once (1927) in Fauglis' church under direction of Mario Mascagni.

The last years of Tita's life will be almost completely devoted to help poor and weak people living in the countryside. His help will not be only financial, but especially cultural. He will create a musical band teaching people how to play simple instruments (like ocarina and flute) that he will build on his own and he will also organize simple theater pieces played by people of the countryside. There is something of this intense philanthropic activity of Tita which has survived his creator and it is still going on: it is the vocal chore Tite Grison of Gonars. Tite Grison, which means the "Tita the beatle", is a nickname that Tita had given to himself.

Tita will die in his house in Fauglis the 1st December 1943, leaving in all the people who had the pleasure and honor to meet him a huge and unrecoverable void.

Alessandra Rossetti

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