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Composer:Della Giacoma, Carlo (1858-1929)
Instrumentation:cl. pft.
Publisher Ref:MR2264
Themes from Puccini's famous opera arranged with variations by a one time military clarinettist and bandmaster who fully exploited both the 'bel canto' and the virtuoso potential of the clarinet.

Price: £11.61
Editor:Fleischhut, Johannes
Skill Level:D
Publisher:Musica Rara
Year of Issue:2010
ISBN:none specified
Having started his musical education at a military school in Milan, Della Giacoma attended the Turin Music Conservatory. In 1877 he joined the Italian army as a clarinettist and later served as bandmaster for most of his 27 year career as a military musician which ended in 1904 with his retirement to Todi. There he combined teaching with directing the municipal band but this was dispersed in 1914, causing psychological anguish to Della Giacoma, and not reformed until 1919 when he resumed his position. This was to last for only a further four years when the band again disbanded and Della Giacoma lost his job for the second time. This, combined with the harassment he suffered for his steadfast rejection of fascist ideology spreading through Italy, brought more pressure to bear on his troubled mind and he suffered a nervous breakdown. Carlo Della Giacoma took his own life in 1929.

The 'Tosca Fantasia' was completed and premiered in 1900, the same year in which the opera was first performed, and is typical of the arrangements made of large scale and popular stage works for home music-making or concert performance. The clarinet fulfils two roles in this arrangement of music from Puccini's famous opera, firstly as 'bel canto' singer which brings out the beauty of the clarinet sound, and secondly as virtuoso soloist which allows technical and compositional possibilities to be explored. Some material is borrowed from the opera note for note, such as the famous clarinet solo which precedes Cavaradossi's aria "E lucevan le stele" but otherwise, Della Giacoma takes Puccini's themes and develops them into virtuosic variations ".... a mixture of ornamental variation, paraphrase and potpourri."

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