Vincenzo Colla (1784-post1861)
Flute Chamber Music
The pieces contained here represent the complete series of Colla’s original compositions with flute, and belong to two clearly distinct creative periods. The Duo pour flûte et guitarre dates from 1808 and was thus one of the very earliest plates to be engraved by the Milanese publisher Ricordi. The Quatuor pour flûte, violon, alto et guitarre is instead a later work (1817-1822) and may be placed in Colla’s second stylistic period alongside the Fantasia per pianoforte e flauto op. 25, published around 1829. This latter piece is dedicated to the “distinguished dilettante”, the marquise Cagnola d’Adda, and the frontispiece states that it is based on “a theme by Bellini sung by the Signora Favelli in the opera Tancredi”. This statement is inaccurate both because Tancredi is not by Bellini and because the quartet contains not one theme but two. “Sorgi, o padre” and “Alla gioia ed al piacer” are actually extrapolated from Vincenzo Bellini’s opera Bianca e Fernando in the second version rearranged for the performance in Genoa of 1828. Stefania Favelli was unquestionably a triumphant Amenaide, but it seems improbable that she would have inserted the two passages of the opera by Bellini into Rossini’s opera Tancredi, despite the unchallenged domination of singers in the world of opera which still reigned at that time. Perhaps the statement was merely a curious typographical error on the part of the printer. An introductory Allegro, which prepares the listener for the theme and allows the two performers to “warm up”, is followed by a second more cantabile section (Andante) where the piano has the principal role. The theme is then stated (Andante mosso) and followed by five variations which, in keeping with contemporary performance practice, focuses alternately on the two instruments. An Allegretto and an Allegro conclude the work in an exultation of agility.