Smareglia: La falena / Fracassi, Orchestra Filarmonica Italiana

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Antonio Smareglia was born in Pola in the Istria region in 1854 and after his early studies in Vienna, (he was of course a citizen of the Hapsburg empire), like the composer Catalani from Lucca he moved to Milan, where he had the support of Franco Faccio and Arrigo Boito, and soon made a fairly successful debut at La Scala. La Falena was premiered in Venice on September 6, 1897 and proved not only in step with the literature and painting of the time but also anticipated coming trends in opera: Pelléas et Mélisande would not appear until 1902, Salome not until 1905. Even Illica & Mascagni’s Iris with its floral-inspired symbolism was not staged until 1898. The truly new and most original element of La Falena is the extraordinary presence of the orchestra and its life-giving language, which is all modulation and excursions into rare key signatures, leading many experts to dub Smareglia a Wagnerian. This was not simply because of the three evocative preludes but also Smareglia’s use of the orchestra. With timbres ranging from harsh and violent to delicate and refined, the Leit-Motiv technique applied throughout as the orchestra provides the structure that holds the opera up rather than merely the accompaniment for this or that musical number.

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: GB2494/95-2

  • UPC: 8007068249428

  • Label: Bongiovanni