Sinfonia Savoiarda, Op. 4, PP.95.5

The decision as where to place this work in the edition was not easy. While it was a transcription of an existing orchestral work, it was also by Ponchielli himself and much in the manner of other band/orchestra twins by composers such as Arnold Schönberg and Karel Husa. Also, Ponchielli had mined his own youthful Sinfonia for an early inclusion in the repertoire for Piacenza. The low opus number must again be noted that it is a "catalog" number, and the theatrical works are first in Professor Sirch's catalog of Ponchielli's music.

As yet, I have not seen the original work as the claimed autograph score in the Harvard Library contains only Act One of the opera eventually called LINA. Sadly, this score may represent one of many acquired from the Ponchielli home in Lecco when it passed out of the family. The exact location or existence of the remainder of this work remains a mystery. From the catalog it can be determined that the original key of D Major has been raised to E-flat Major. The source for the catalog examples is a published vocal score of 1877. The original work is from 1860 whose premiere in Cremona took place in 1861. The re-worked opera had a premiere at the Teatro Dal Verme in Milan in 1877.

At this point I must draw readers' attention to another Savojarda to be found in the band music. In 1866, Ponchielli retrieved a Ricordanze from the opera, which he referred to on the title page as "sepolta," "buried." As always, Ponchielli's scores were seen by no more than two or three members of the band, so the grim humor of the title page of this set of themes was shared with a very small coterie of colleagues. 

In the list of concerts there is a curiosity that is linked to the still mysterious premiere of the Concerto per flicornobasso whose four closely-scheduled performances were more likely the result of cancellations than wildly popular repetitions. Further, the Sinfonia is not clearly identified as such until 1872, though it was likely performed soon after its completion date.

Date on score: Sunday, May 1, 1870

Performances: Thursday, May 19, 1870, Piazza Cavour; Thursday, September 8, 1870, Piazza Garibaldi; Sunday, December 4, 1870, Piazza Garibaldi; Friday, May 17, 1872, Piazza Roma; Sunday, March 17, 1872, Piazza Roma; Sunday, March 24, 1872, Piazza Roma; Sunday, March 31, 1872, Piazza Roma; Sunday, April, 7, 1872, Piazza Roma; Sunday, September 8, 1872, Piazza Cavour

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