On the finish of the educational 12 months of 1882, the younger Giacomo Puccini submitted the Preludio Sinfonico for his ultimate examination on the Milan Conservatory.
The temporary orchestral fantasy unfolds in a single motion (Andante mosso). The affect of Wagner’s Lohengrin might be heard within the shimmering colours of its orchestration and its adventurous chromatic concord. This blends with the sunny Italian strains of composers resembling Pietro Mascagni and Amilcare Ponchielli. Past these influences, we are able to hear Puccini’s distinct voice rising. There are tantalizing foreshadowings of Manon Lescaut and the sensuous, bittersweet melodies of La Bohème. Melodic materials from the piece was reused in Puccini’s early opera, Edgar.
Preludio Sinfonico is a dramatic interlude ready for an opera. Its majestic first theme reaches a climax of hovering ardour. The second theme is an intimate, flowing waltz in 6/4 time. Within the ultimate moments, by means of an prolonged, transcendent harmonic development, time appears to halt because the music drifts right into a serene, celestial dreamscape.
- Puccini: Preludio sinfonico, Op. 1, Riccardo Muti, Filarmonica della Scala Amazon
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