Almost as if it were an aperitif to the following traditional performance that will close the XXXVI edition, the Rof will present, as part of the Rossinimania series, Giovanni André’s transcription of the Stabat Mater for 14 wind instruments at the Teatro Rossini on Saturday 22nd August at 5.00 p.m. The performance will be given by the wind section of the Orchestra Sinfonica G. Rossini, conducted by Noris Borgogelli.
It all started in Bologna on the 18th March 1842, when, in the Aula Magna of the Archiginnasio, Gaetano Donizetti raised his batôn to start the first performance in Italy of Gioachino Rossini’s long-awaited Stabat Mater, the composer being present only at the third repeat performance, thanks to the insistent and affectionate pleading of a devoted friend, who had enthusiastically devoted himself to organizing and directing the event.
Giovanni André, a respected teacher and member of the Accademia Filarmonica of Ferrara, was first bassoon in the orchestra gathered for the extraordinary concert, and together with his no less celebrated colleague, Andrea Lelli and all the other ‘cellos in the orchestra, in a suspenseful silence intoned the sublime opening notes of the Stabat.
Perhaps those very first, subdued and sorrowful notes generating the dark, dismayed and petrified atmosphere permeating Rossini’s score appealed to André’s imagination, leading him to visualize an adaptation that might highlight the noteworthy virtuosity of himself and his esteemed colleagues and, at the same time, pay tribute to Rossini’s imposing work, which had so deeply impressed him.
The transcription was certainly performed more than once: one performance, given in special circumstances, was favourably reviewed in the Gazzetta Musicale di Milano of the 18th September 1842.