Galli, R :: Rigoletto Fantasy

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  • Composer
    Galli, R
  • Instrumentation
    2 Flutes & Piano
  • Publisher
    AureaCapra Editions [AC1901]
  • Editor
    Parry, E; Edmund-Davies, P
  • Orchestration
    2 fl, pn
  • Includes CD
    No
  • Classification
    Not Applicable
  • Genre
    Undefined
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Rigoletto Fantasy

Galli, R

So little is known of the life of Raffaello Galli that even his name and birth date are inconsistent in the few references available. Most give his dates as 1824-1889, though some say 1819, and modern publications prefer the alternative form of his first name, Raffaele. As the original scores use Rafaello, however, we have decided to do likewise, to create a sense of continuity with the great musical traditions of 19th-century Italy that are so richly illustrated in this work.

A Florentine banker by profession, Galli was also an amateur flautist of great skill and renown. He was honoured for his work by the Accademia in Florence and was professor of flute at the Regio Instituto Musicale. In his time, he was considered, along with Briccialdi, Ciardi, and Pieroni, as one of the greatest exponents of the Italian flute school.

Galli wrote around 400 works for flute, now almost entirely lost to the repertoire, and his music is imbued with all the melodic shape and rhythmic drama of the bel canto opera style. Passion for this musical spectacle dominated Italian cultural life, and most of Galli's works are virtuosic variations on melodies from operas of the day. Galli's use of musical material is sophisticated, however, and in the case of the Rigoletto Fantasy, not merely a medley of famous themes. Although some of the most melodies do make their appearance ('La donna e mobile' is the centerpiece in Scene II), Galli draws on an array of countermelodies, rhythmic motifs, and accompanying figures from the orchestral score, creating a highly original composition.

Rigoletto Fantasy is based on the first of a set of three duets for two flutes (op. 66, 67, and 68, composed around 1858 and published by Lucca in Milan) on themes from Verdi's opera Rigoletto. The original work runs to some 16 minutes without a single rest in either part, so it might be speculated that it was intended for recreational playing amongst friends rather than public performance, perhaps with the various sections interspersed with wine, food, and conversation. Although highly entertaining, the work is clearly disadvantaged in performance by its length and structure, and the operatic style of the themes lacks drama because of the single line accompaniment.

In the mid-19th century, it was commonplace for music  to be reconfigured endlessly to suit the needs and desires of performers. This new version of Galli's 'Duetto concertanto tratti dai motivi favoriti dell'opera Rigoletto', op. 66 has been elaborated in that same tradition. Based on an original idea by Paul Edmund-Davies (first explored in his editions of the sonatas of Giuseppe Rabboni), a new piano accompaniment to the duet has been composed for this edition by John Alley. This piano accompaniment adds the harmonic depth needed to give drive and excitement to the piece and has also enabled a number of cuts to be made, giving the performers a moment to rest while the piano carries the melodic line. The duet itself has been extensively revised and edited by Elisabeth Parry and Paul Edmund-Davies, with due respect given to Galli's own markings, particularly of articulation and phrasing. Finally, the work has been divided by the editors into two sections, or 'scenes', and may be performed either as a whole with a short break, or separately. The shorter scenes make an ideal encore.

  • Composer
    Galli, R
  • Instrumentation
    2 Flutes & Piano
  • Publisher
    AureaCapra Editions [AC1901]
  • Editor
    Parry, E; Edmund-Davies, P
  • Orchestration
    2 fl, pn
  • Includes CD
    No
  • Classification
    Not Applicable
  • Genre
    Undefined
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