Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848)
Parlour Music for Oboe and Piano
The tradition of transcribing operas for chamber ensembles arose during the second half of the eighteenth century, when the Austria emperor Joseph founded the first Harmonie, a group of high-quality wind players employed by the Orchestra of the Court Theatre. Since at that time very few original compositions existed for such a group, the members of the Harmonie themselves made arrangements of some of the most fashionable operas, symphonies and ballets. This tradition continued in nineteenth-century salons, with arrangements of opera excerpts composed even by famous virtuosos on the piano (F. Liszt), violin (N. Paganini), flute (G. Briccialdi), and by less well-known oboe virtuosos. This recording presents fantasias based on the operas of G. Donizetti composed by the oboists H. Brod and A. Pasculli, as well as the clarinettist L. Bassi. Donizetti, unlike other contemporary opera composers, dedicated a great deal of his attention to instrumental music, especially during his early years, and this was certainly due to the cultural training he received during his studies at the Music School in his home town of Bergamo.