Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868), Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1834), Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848), Giuseppe Ferlendis (1755-1810)
19th Century Masterpieces for Oboe and English Horn
Gioacchino Rossini was at the centre of an incredible amount of coincidences, analogies, musical encounters and gatherings amongst friends, which also involved Gaetano Donizetti, Vincenzo Bellini and Frederick Chopin. Two years after the death of Mozart, and in the space of nine years, three of the most important 19th century Italian composers were born within a geographical triangle that covers the whole of the country: Rossini was born in 1792 in Pesaro; five years later Donizetti was born in Bergamo and four years after that Bellini in Catania. These composers did similar things, at slightly different times, and frequented the same theatres and musical circles. Rossini and Donizetti both studied under Padre Mattei in Bologna, and all of them had the same manager Domenico Barbaja, who, for more than thirty years managed Italian Opera, composers and singers, in the most important theatres in Italy and European capitals such as Paris and London. They met in Naples, Milan and Paris, where the fourth member, Chopin, joined the group. When he was living in Paris, Rossini, the oldest member, became a kind of father and great friend to the other Italians: in fact it was Rossini who invited Donizetti to write for the Thèatre Italien, and supported Bellini whose music he considered to be “quella di un uomo maturo” (that of a mature man), even though he was, in fact, still young. On this CD I have recorded virtuosic works - which have the Italian 19th century Bel canto and the Variation in common - after working with Stefano Celeghin on the orchestration and transcription of some of them from the versions with piano or harp accompaniment. We based our work on what we think are well-substantiated hypotheses that the composers sketched in elements to develop later into concertos with solo parts. This is a reversal of the 19th century procedure, in which operas and symphonies were adapted for small groups of musicians: we have in fact adapted a chamber work for orchestra. When doing this we have referred both to the originals and the typical styles of each composer.