Nuovo Quartetto Pianistico Italiano

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J.B. Duroc Hommage à Verdi
  Grande Fantaisie pour deux pianos à quatre mains sur des Thèmes des opéras: I Vespri Siciliani, Il Trovatore, La Traviata


A genuine rare piece to this day, Grande fantaisie sur des thèmes des Operas op. 10 by Jean Baptiste Duroc is one of the many potpourris composed throughout the nineteenth century by taking various arias, songs, choruses and favourite pieces from famous operas. Pieces composed with the aim of providing material for evening entertainment at home in the company of friends. Regarding Duroc it must be stated that no biographical data are available. Since being published in the nineteenth century (firstly by Friedrich Hofmeister of Leipzig, then in France by Offenbach) it has now been forgotten and there is no modern edition. The frontispiece reads: Hommage à Verdi / GRANDE FANTAISIE / pour / deux Pianos à 8 mains / sur des thèmes des Operas / Les Vèpres siciliennes, Jl Trovatore e La Traviata / Composée/ par J. B. DUROC / op. 10. This delightful Verdi pastiche is divided into the following sections: Maestoso (introduction, from Vèpres) - Animato (aria and chorus Saint amour) - Allegro assai moto (Di Madride noi siam, chorus from Traviata, act II, scene XI) - Allegro (L'hiver from Vèpres) - Allegro giusto (ballet L'hiver from Vèpres, act III, scene V) - Andante (song Il Trovator!) - Largo (Traviata, finale act II, scene XV, Volea fuggirla) - Allegretto (the drinking song from Traviata, act I, scene II, Libiam nei lieti calici) - Andante assai, sostenuto (from Trovatore, chorus Miserere d'un'alma and Romanza Ah, che la morte, part IV, scene I) - Allegro agitato (aria Tu vedrai cheamore from Trovatore, part IV, scene I) - Più mosso (brilliant ending). These are all famous pieces and easy to recognize even in this particular pianistic deguisement. No explanations are needed, it is just pure, pleasant listening and the genuine emotions this homage to Verdi has to offer.


Angelo Chiarle


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