Maria Rohan

  • The Glory of a Bandmaster

    The Glory of a Bandmaster

Cavatina di Maria di Rohan

Op. 208, PP.136.11

Maria di Rohan was originally composed in Italian, though its premiere took place in Vienna, essentially Italy's capitol as Northern Italy was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1843. A Paris version followed in the same year with the voice of Armando di Gondi changed from tenor to mezzo-soprano, i.e., a "trouser" role. This change will serve to determine Ponchielli's choice of solo instrument.

This score is definitely composed for the band in Piacenza, even though a notation on the score self-identifies Ponchielli as the capobanda in Cremona. Beyond the detail in the score (indicating that it was an early "Piacenza" score), another sign is the flicorno basso part in B-flat treble clef, also found only in early scores.

Ponchielli chose "Son leggera, è ver, d'amore" as the main content of this adaptation; however, he lengthened it by adding (up a tritone) the preceding tenor aria Älma soave e cara to make a work of some length. While Giuseppe Cesura was the intended soloist in Cremona, Vittorio Zucchi was the likely soloist in Piacenza. The many performances suggest that it was both popular and that Cesare was a reliable soloist.

Date on score: None given

Performances: Saturday, September 4, 1865, Piazza Cavour; Monday, March 25, 1867, Piazza Garibaldi; Sunday, June 9, 1867; Pubblico intero passaggio; Sunday, May 15, 1868, Piazza Garibaldi; Wednesday, March 25, 1868, Piazza Garibaldi; Thursday, June 18, 1868, Piazza Cavour; Saturday, August 15, 1868, Pubblico passaggio; Sunday, October 11, 1868, Piazza Garibaldi; Sunday, January 24, 1869, Piazza Garibaldi; Sunday, February 14, 1869, Piazza Garibaldi; Tuesday, May 25, 1869, Piazza Cavour; Sunday, July 18, 1869, Pubblico passaggio; Saturday, September 23, 1869; Piazza Cavour; Sunday, March 27,1870, Piazza Cavour; Sunday, April 17, 1870, Piazza Garibaldi; Sunday, July 17, 1870, Pubblico passaggio; Sunday, July 24, 1870, Pubblico passaggio; Thursday, June 1, 1871, Piazza Garibaldi; Sunday, July 6, 1871, Pubblico passaggio; Thursday, June 12, 1873, Piazza Cavour; Thursday, August 14, 1873, Piazza Roma.


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