Orlandini Giovanni Maria (1675 -1760)
"Il Giocatore" Three Intermezzos by Antonio Salvi
The intermezzo “Il Giocatore” by the Bolognese composer Giuseppe Maria ORLANDINI (Bologna, 1675 or 1688- Florence 1760) is, together with “La Serva Padrona” by Giovan Battista Pergolesi and “La Zingara” by Rinaldo da Capua, one of the most successful examples of the “buffo” genre so in vogue and often inserted into the “heroic operas” of the eighteenth century. They were probably performed during the scene changes between acts, and the fact that this intermezzo, though completely unified in form and time, is subdivided into three parts, with the indication “tre intermezzi”, further supports this hypothesis. Be that as it may, intermezzos rapidly acquired their own autonomy and artistic dignity, such that they enjoyed triumphant successes. This was an Italian phenomenon, even outside of Italy (the well-known Querelle des Buffons, which in Paris between 1752 and 1754 set the Italian “buffo” style against the French “tragédie lyrique”, owes much to the work in question). This trend in turn paved the way for the new musical theater which Gioacchino Rossini would later raise to fabulous levels of rhythm and style. Though little known today, Orlandini was one of the greatest opera composers of his time. His works were successfully performed in Naples, Hamburg, Paris, London and St. Petersburg, and admired by Burney and the Frenchman De La Borde, who praised Orlandini in particular for the intermezzo “Il Giocatore”.