Luigi Bassi (1833–1871) Concert Fantasy
on Motives from the Opera “Rigoletto” edited by Nicolai Pfeffer [clar,pno] Duration: 14'
Standard repertoire for solo clarinet, also available in a version with orchestra
The version with piano additionally contains Bassi’s arrangement of the “Introduzione e Quartetto”, also from “Rigoletto” (duration: 7min).
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Bassi, former principal clarinetist of La Scala in Milan, combines lyrical qualities and ravishing virtuosity, matching the phenomenon of Verdi's music in a perfect way.
The new edition of the Concert Fantasy for clarinet and piano derives from the first printing of 1865 and is completed by another, yet unknown “Rigoletto” adaption by Bassi. The Introduction and Quartet “Bella figlia dell'amore,” composed a few years earlier, is combining the sophisticated handling of themes with practical clarinet-like ornamentation, transporting a brilliant opera atmosphere into the concert hall.
The concert fantasy on motives from Verdi’s “Rigoletto“ by the Italian composer and clarinetist Luigi Bassi (1833–1871), is undoubtedly his most famous composition and has become an integral part of the concert repertoire of clarinet players around the world. It is most popular with both musicians and audience. Bassi, former principal clarinetist of La Scala in Milan, combines lyrical qualities and ravishing virtuosity of the instrument, matching the phenomenon of Verdi’s music in a perfect way.
Though Bassi’s compositional output is focused on opera fantasias, he also wrote a great deal of clarinet duos, scholarly books as well as a clarinet concerto. All these works have survived in manuscript form or first prints. The present edition derives from the first print of 1865 and is completed by another, yet unknown Rigoletto adaption by Bassi. The introduction and quartet ”Bella figlia dell’amore“, composed a few years earlier, is combining the sophisticated handling of themes with practical clarinet-like ornamentation, transporting a brilliant opera atmosphere into the concert hall.
The present critical edition is primarily based on the first print of 1865, published by Ricordi, and a new engraving of 1900 by the same publisher. Partial contained mistakes and inaccuracies were corrected silently. At points worth of discussion the editor’s preference is the first print of the solo part. Any emendations by the editor have been clearly marked as such, using square brackets [ ] and dashed lines (for hairpins and slurs). The use of additional dynamic markings in the piano part was, however, omitted. Both editor and publisher would like to extend their gratitude to Professor Luigi Magistrelli (Conservatorio di Milano) for his kind assistance in the procurement of the sources for this new edition.
Nicolai Pfeffer Spring 2015