Gran Capriccio (Miscellena) dell'opera
Op. 128, PP.142.1
In spite of its inclusion of a part for E-flat cornet, this is a score brought from Piacenza and re-copied by Johannes Haagen, who was Ponchielli's first vicemaestro in Cremona. As Haagen was deposed as vicemaestro and re-assigned as a second trumpet after the auditions of January, 1865, this copy was likely prepared earlier. Ponchielli paid Haagen a substantial sum to copy three scores in March, 1864.
The frontispiece of the score identifies Ponchielli as the director of the "Musical Band of the National Guard of Cremona" and continues to be a perfect model of a Piacenza score, even to keeping the flicorno basso part in B-flat treble clef. Though this soloist would play any tenor arias, La donn'é mobile is omitted.
Rigoletto was already a world wide favorite by the time that Ponchielli set several sections for the band in Piacenza after 1861. In a manner that would be a hallmark of these "commentaries," Ponchielli resets the drama for an audience that was fully familiar with every note and nuance. The artistry of Ponchielli's settings lies in his juxtaposition of events from the opera out of their usual places in the drama, thus offering his audiences their favorites in new perspectives.
The dramatic order here begins with the chorus of courtiers as they blindfold Rigoletto and trick him into assisting with their kidnapping his daughter and delivering her into the clutches of the ever-rapacious Duke.
Date on score: None given
Performances: Sunday, November 29, 1865, Piazza Cavour; Sunday, March 4, 1866, Piazza Garibaldi; Sunday, November 18, 1866,Piazza Garibaldi; Sunday, May 5, 1867, Piazza Cavour; Sunday, July 7, 1867, Pubblico interno passaggio; Sunday, February 23, 1868, Piazza Garibaldi; Sunday, June 14, 1868, Baluardo del Pubblico passaggio; Sunday, August 6, 1868, Piazza Garibaldi; Sunday, January 3, 1869, Piazza Garibaldi; Sunday, August 1, 1869, Pubblico passaggio; Sunday, March 29, 1870, Piazza Garibaldi; , Sunday, September 18, 1870, sull'area della demolita chiesa di S. Domenico; Sunday, June 8, 1871, sull'area della demolita chiesa di S. Domenico; Sunday, July 7, 1872, Piazza Cavour; Sunday, December 8, 1872, Piazza Cavour