June Emerson Wind Music
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Printed Edition
Composer:Wolf-Ferrari, Ermanno (1876-1948)
Instrumentation:bn. pft.
Publisher Ref:NR122712
A concerto-like suite in 4 movements (slow-fast-slow-fast) which reflects the composer's successful career in writing opera.

Price: £12.99
Arranger:Solazzi, Ugo
Skill Level:D
Year of Issue:1961
ISBN:none specified
Until he was fifteen Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari was set to follow his German father as a painter, but his love and aptitude for music were brought to a head by seeing Wagner's operas performed at Bayreuth, and he became a pupil of Rheinberger's in Munich. His first opera 'La Cenerentola' (Cindrella) was not well received in his native Venice in 1900 but did better in Bremen two years later. Eleven more operas followed at irregular intervals over the next forty years, many of them based on the eighteenth century comedies of the composer's fellow Venetian Goldoni. Although not Goldoni libretti, the one act farce 'Il Segreto di Susanna' (Susanna's Secret - i.e. she was a smoker) of 1909 and 'I Gioielli della Madonna' (The Jewels of the Madonna) 1911 were notable successes and are still performed.

Wolf-Ferrari wrote over twenty instrumental pieces, the majority of them chamber works for strings and piano, and string trios. Most of his ten orchestral works were written later in life, like the Suite-Concertino in F, Op.16 dated 1933. Given the composer's history, the operatic 'feel' to this music comes as no surprise. The bassoon part of the first movement (Notturno - Andante poco mosso) consists largely of long held minims and dotted minims, and much of the melodic interest is in the accompaniment. The second movement is called 'Strimpellata' - literal meaning 'strummed' and with the marking 'Presto' it has a strong dance feel. The lyricism of the lovely third movement (Canzone - Andante cantabile) can hardly be surpassed and the Finale starts in a bright and breezy eighteenth century style which leads into a slower, more thoughtful middle section before returning to Tempo 1 and a grand 'sostenuto molto' eight bar ending. "Ravishing and original" and "Sublimely expressive and lyrical" as critics have said.

A study score of the full bassoon & orchestra version is available (PR851) and orchestral parts are available to hire from Ricordi (via Zinfonia)

  • 1 Notturno
  • 2 Strimpellata
  • 3 Canzone
  • 4 Finale

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