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Alfredo Piatti performed the Capriccio op. 22 for cello solo on the aria, cavatina, "I tuoi frequenti palpiti", from Niobe by Giovanni Pacini when he was twenty-one in Pesth on 25.8. 1843; it is the only existent capriccio per violoncello solo composed by Alfredo Piatti apart from the famous Dodici Capricci of op. 25.
The themes of Giovanni Pacini's Niobe, performed for the first time at the Teatro S.Carlo in Naples on 19.11.1826, were a source of inspiration for many composers in creating variations and fantasies. The cavatina "I tuoi frequenti palpiti" was particularly successful: in 1836 Liszt composed a Divertissement for piano solo on this cavatina, as did Duvernoy, Dessauer, HOnten; Panofka used it in a Fantasia-Caprice brillante for violin and piano, and F.A. Kummer composed his Fantasia op. 51 for cello and orchestra on the same aria.
The way the Capriccio sulla Niobe is written is reminiscent of typical operatic writing: there is an orchestraI introduzione, then the entrance of the singer accompanied by the orchestra in the aria, the cadenzas of the recitativi interspersed by the precise chords of the orchestraI tutti and a new, sad aria lenta that quivers with the tremolo of the "violins"; a coda with final stretta that then end the capriccio brilliantly.
The singular bow stroke in the last elaboration on the theme, with two staccato notes for the bow (from measure 154 on), is obtained with a calibrated bouncing on the strings, and takes on more clarity and facility if more elastic gut strings are used.

Christian Bellisario

Opera details:
Capriccio sopra un tema della "Niobe" di Pacini op. 22
for cello solo
Alfredo Piatti Cello Collection
Editor Christian Bellisario

Pizzicato Verlag Helvetia, PVH 763


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