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A Comparative Study of Nineteenth-Century Works for Clarinet Based on Motives From the Operas of Gaetano Donizetti with an Analysis of Virtuosic Operatic Fantasies From the Operas Anna Bolena, La Favorita, Lucia di Lammermoor, and Lucrezia Borgia

Richard Viglucci, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

A wave of popularity for the bel canto operas of Rossini, Bellini, and Donizetti swept across Europe during the nineteenth century. As the nineteenth-century European public became interested in consuming opera in many forms, the operatic fantasy genre became more prevalent and an integral part of the recital literature for instrumental virtuoso performers, amateur musicians, and aspiring students, as well as concert literature for European orchestras and bands.^ Many operatic fantasies written for clarinet are based on themes from Donizetti operas. To date, no one source has studied or catalogued this body of literature. Seventy-one clarinet operatic fantasies based on themes from Donizetti operas have been discovered for the exploration of this topic. Most of these works were identified in European library databases and via the personal research of Italian clarinetist Adriano Amore.^ This study will explore the historical background of nineteenth-century operatic fantasy for clarinet, its importance and niche in the culture of nineteenth-century Italy, its relevance amongst the clarinet literature, and its use by clarinet virtuosi from this period. To study the clarinet operatic fantasy connection with the operas of Donizetti, four chapters have been devoted to an in-depth analysis of the most virtuosic clarinet operatic fantasies based on four of Donizetti’s most popular operas: Anna Bolena , La Favorita, Lucia di Lammermoor, and Lucrezia Borgia. For each opera the author provides the historical background and synopsis of the opera and a thorough study of each corresponding operatic fantasy as it relates to thematic material borrowed, the manipulation of borrowed material, musical form, and instrumentation. ^ For all other clarinet operatic fantasies based on themes from Donizetti operas that fall outside these parameters, a brief discussion of the composition’s melodic content, methods of thematic manipulation, form, instrumentation, and level of difficulty are detailed. All operatic fantasies are catalogued in Appendix A for the purpose of future scholastic study and include publisher information and library location.^ It is this author’s hope that the exploration of clarinet operatic fantasies whose melodic material derives from the operas of Donizetti will provide beneficial and relevant information to performers and scholars who wish to study this large body of clarinet literature.^

Subject Area

Music

Recommended Citation

Viglucci, Richard, "A Comparative Study of Nineteenth-Century Works for Clarinet Based on Motives From the Operas of Gaetano Donizetti with an Analysis of Virtuosic Operatic Fantasies From the Operas Anna Bolena, La Favorita, Lucia di Lammermoor, and Lucrezia Borgia" (2017). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI10269590.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI10269590

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