GRAN MARCIA op. 141
Giuseppe Antonuo Unia, who was born in Dogliani on February 1, 1818 and died on November 23, 1871 in Recanati [?], is one of many Italian musicians that history, or rather time, separated from us by means of a thin veil of oblivion. Still, the more than two hundred works published for the Ricordi, Canti, and Vismara Editions testify to a notable success; and the many dedications of his compositions tell of socially and artistically relevant friendships. Unia, who belonged to a family originally from Mondovì, which counted numerous musicians, had his debut at the Theater Carignano in Turin in 1833. In 1834, he decided to go to Weimar to study with Johann Nepomuk Hummel, an Austrian pianist and composer and former pupil of Mozart and Haydn in Vienna. The purpose of this stay was to deepen and improve his artistic education immersing himself in the extraordinary musical life of Vienna at the time. In 1841, he returned to Turin where he devoted himself to teaching piano both privately and at the Royal House, thus receiving the title of pianist and composer at the Court of the King of Sardinia and then of Italy, as evidenced by the Grand March for the Coronation of His Majesty Victor Emmanuel King of Italy op. 141.
In 1844, he married Angela Teja, also a pianist. As a consequence of this marriage, he started a kinship relationship with the family of the Leopardi counts. In fact, Angela Teja was the sister of Theresa, who married Charles, brother of the famous poet Giacomo Leopardi. Giuseppe Antonio Unia dedicated three works to the Leopardi counts. The first, Lowely, Redowa Capricieuse pour piano op. 157, was dedicated to the Countess Paolina Leopardi, most likely in homage to Lovely, the dog of the Countess. The second, Funeral March for Piano: A Tear on the Tomb of Count C. Leopardi op. 158, was dedicated to his dear brother-in-law and actually composed some years before the death of Count Carlo, which took place February 11, 1878. This March was indeed performed during the funeral ceremonies of Carlo by his wife Teresa almost seven years after the death of Unia. The third piece is the Divertimento Brillante on the Opera Marta by Flotow op. 160, written for his sister-in-law Teresa Leopardi.