Nicolò Paganini: I Palpati – full score (NXP021)
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Instrumentation: 184.108.40.206 - 220.127.116.11 - timp - perc - violin solo - strings
Rossini’s opera Tancredi, a Melodramma eroico, had its first performance in Venice in 1813. Based on a play by Voltaire and set in eleventh-century Syracuse, it deals with the secret return from exile of the knight Tancredi, a contralto rôle, and his clandestine romance with Amenaide, daughter of Argirio, who has promised her hand to another.
Following Voltaire, the work’s happy ending was altered to a tragic conclusion in a subsequent staging. The opera includes the popular Di tanti palpiti (After such beating of the heart), after Tancredi has landed in Syracuse, first reproaching his country for ingratitude to him, and then turning his thoughts to his beloved Amenaide.
Paganini’s Introduction and Variations on the theme ‘Di tanti palpiti’ from Rossini’s opera ‘Tancredi’, dates from 1819.
The opening Adagio of Paganini’s Introduction leads to the theme. There follow three variations, the first with multiple stopping and artificial harmonics, with bowed staccato. The second variation makes considerable play with artificial harmonics, often with double stopping. The last of the three variations, marked Quasi presto, includes, among other examples of technical mastery, an extended use of left-hand pizzicato.