Monday, May 14, 2007

"Safe" Minor Composers ( Died Before 1811)

This is a partial list of minor but nonetheless popular composers who died before the start of the Regency in 1811. The works are presumed likely to have been played and heard during the Regency, and are, therefore, safe to include in a Regency setting.

Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805)
Major works: Cello concertos and various string and quitar quintets and other chamber works, some with strong flamenco influence. The String Quintet in E, Op. 11, No. 5, includes a popular minuet.

Cristoph Willibald von Gluck (1714-1787)
Operas: Orfeo ed Euridice (1762), features Orfeo’s aria “Che faro senza Euridice” (“What Will I Do Without Euridice?”) and the Dance of the Blessed Spirits, a ballet with a virtuoso flute solo; Iphegenie en Tauride (1777) and Iphegenie en Aulide (1774).

Giovanni Paisiello (1740-1816)
Paisiello, one of Napoleon's favorite composers, wrote more than 90 operas, including Il Barbiere di Siviglia (1782). Perhaps his most popular work was the arietta “Nel cor più non mi sento" (“My heart no longer feels”) from his opera La Molinara (1790). The small aria has survived as a recital song and as the theme for a set of variations by Beethoven (1795).

Niccolò Piccinni (1728-1800)
Gluck’s rival. Major works include the opera Iphegenie en Tauride (1781), reputedly an attempt to show Gluck how Gluck should have interpreted the subject in his 1777 opera of the same name.

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