About this Recording
8.223701 - DONIZETTI: Instrumental Concertos

Gaetano Donizetti (1797–1848)
Instrumental Concertos


Gaetano Donizetti, while generally known only as a composer of operas, was in fact responsible for the composition of a great many other works, totalling 611 in all. Instrumental works make up a relatively small proportion of these and are apparently occasional in origin. Nevertheless they are evidence of the skill of the composer and make interesting additions to the solo repertoire of the instruments employed. The works here recorded for the first time on compact disc have also recently appeared in print. Acknowledgement is due to Professor Raymond Meylan and Professor Johannes Wojciechowski, who have traced and edited these works, as well as to the Paris Bibliotheque Nationale, the Museo Donizettiano in Bergamo and the Paris Conservatoire National for allowing their publication.

The Sinfonia in G minor for woodwind had the original title Sinfonia a soli instrumenti (di fiato), with the dedication Dedicata al Sig. Nebbie Deleidi (dei suo Oseq.mo Servitore / Gaetano Donizetti / Bologna ti 19, aprile 1817). The work has its origin in the composer’s period of study in Bologna and has here been reconstructed by Bernhard Päuler.

Donizetti’s Concertino in C minor for flute and chamber orchestra is derived from a flute sonata preserved in autograph in the Museo Donizettiano in Bergamo (Composizioni giovanili, No.5 in 64 Fascicolo 111.0). The title reads Suonata per / Flauto e Pianoforte / per uso della Sinora / Marianna Pezzoti-Grattatoti / Bergamo li 15. Maggio 1819.

The present first edition of Donizetti’s oboe sonata is based on the original manuscript in the possession of the library of the Paris Conservatoire (Ms. 4140). It bears the title Suonata per I oboe e Pianoforte I di I G.D.I all’Amico Severino dgl’Antonj I L’autore D.D.D.

The Concerto in D minor for violin, cello and orchestra is derived from the autograph preserved in the Paris Bibliotheque Nationale (reg.no. Ms. 4142). Before its acquisition by the Bibliotheque Nationale the hastily written manuscript, extending to some 44 pages, had been in the private collection of one of the world’s best known collectors, Charles Malherbe, subsequently archivist at the Paris Opera. The manuscript cost him, as the first page of the score reveals, the sum of 30 francs and 60 centimes. The dating of the work is not clear, but its general lay-out suggests that it belongs rather to the early Bergamo period than the later period in Paris.

Donizetti’s Concertino for English horn and orchestra was written for a fellow-student at the Conservatory in Bologna. It carries the title Concertino I Per Corno Inglese Sctitto / Das Signor Gaetano Oonizetti I per / il Sig. e Giovanni Catolfi I Alunno deI Liceo Filarmonico I L’Anno 1816. It was intended for an instrument in G which is no longer in use, with a range of two octaves and a second, lying a fourth lower than the usual oboe of the time. For modern performance the English horn or the oboe d’amore are the most suitable instruments.

The present version of Donizetti’s Concertino for clarinet and orchestra is an attempt to reconstruct the original form of the work from sketches in the composer’s own hand for the first movement (middle part of Ms. 4144, Bibliotheque Nationale), entitled Esquisse pour hautbois and for the second movement the Museo Donizettiano Mss. Nos. I 2a (score) and 12a Cc1 (piano reduction). The reconstruction has attempted to link the two movements, with additions, transposition and scoring of the first movement and a critical revision of the very defective material for the second movement.

Donizetti’s Sinfonia in D minor per la Morte di Capuzzi was written for the funeral of Antonio Capuzzi (1753–1818), the violinist and leader of the orchestra of St. Maria Maggiore in Bergamo. The autograph score is in the Paris Bibliotheque Nationale and the Museo Donizettiano in Bergamo and the present edition is the work of Professor Marc Andreae.

Tamás Benedek

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