Original Virtuoso Music for Brass
There are four works in this category. Most prominently, the Concerto per flicorno basso has become a staple of the baritone/euphonium solo repertoire since 1992. While the trumpet and cornet soloists can be identified, no documentation has been found in the Archivio di stato in Cremona for the flicorno basso soloist's name. In April, 2009, Glenn Van Looy, euphonium soloist of the Brass Band Heist, performed the concerto in a brass band arrangement prepared by Dr. Howey conducted by Bert Van Thienen. One may read Van Looy's comments here. Giuseppe Cesura (ultimately a second vicemaestro) was prima tromba, and vicemaestro Achille Bissocoli was the solo cornetist. Prior to 2004, the Fantasia sopra La Traviata was thought to be for cornet, found in an acknowledged copy. The same day that the construction of the concert database uncovered the actual designation of this work for trumpet, an article by Dr. Agostina Laterza revealed an autograph manuscript of the Fantasia (for trumpet) had been donated to the library of the Milan Conservatory. The Concerto per cornetto has had a checkered career as Ponchielli entitled it "di varij Autori." In spite of this possible mixed parentage, it has some of the best moments in all of these works. All three concertos require real technical mastery and push the soloists to their limits.
Ponchielli's great confidence in the artistic skills of his four brass soloists - cornet, contralto trumpet in E-flat, flicorno basso, bombardino - enabled him to incorporate entire opera scenes featuring these four as a "solo quartet." Italian audiences are infamous for brutally high standards regarding opera soloists; however, Ponchielli and his musicians met these same standards. The solo from Maria di Rohan is only the first of what will indicate a new direction in this category. As new works are evaluated, they will be added.
Duetto nell'opera La Traviata di Verdi, ADD 65, PP.58.11