Cimarosa: Overtures arranged for Mandolin Ensemble

Cimarosa: Overtures arranged for Mandolin Ensemble
Composer Domenico Cimarosa
Artist Quintetto a Plettro “Giuseppe Anedda”
Format 1 CD
Cat. number 96613
EAN code 5028421966137
Release April 2024

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About this release

New, fun-filled arrangements, with historical authenticity on their side, of bright and breezy curtain-raisers by a once-celebrated contemporary of Mozart.

In a career not much longer than Mozart’s, Domenico Cimarosa (1749-1801) wrote an astonishing total of 64 works for the stage – as well as substantial collections of symphonies, concertos and sonatas – which were performed across the length and breath of Europe, from Lisbon to St Petersburg. No less than Haydn, Cimarosa had the gift of melodic fluency and an unerring feeling for what his audiences wanted. Haydn himself conducted performances of 13 Cimarosa operas at Esterháza.

Cimarosa specialised in light-hearted comedies, for which he supplied stylishly upbeat scores, shot through with Italianate lyricism, and a kind of impetuous vigour which was all his own. This quality makes his overtures particularly suitable for transcription to the kind of plucked-ensemble chamber versions heard on this enterprising new album. During the period after unification, the mandolin became a popular instrument much as the ukulele and the balalaika did elsewhere: relatively easy to learn, highly portable, and well suited to being played in ensemble as a kind of instrumental choir.

Thus many arrangements of well-known classical pieces were made for the kind of mandolin ensemble heard here, naturally favouring operatic items by Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti and the other masters of the bel canto style. The Romantic-era quartet, consisting of two mandolins, mandola in G and guitar was the preferred ensemble. Larger ensembles, known as plectrum orchestras, could achieve a quasi-symphonic texture, especially when supplemented by winds and bass instruments.

The Anedda Quintet have devised a unique synthesis of the two approaches, adding a strong bass component to the classic quartet line-up. This collection of Cimarosa is mainly comprised of modern arrangements by the composer Michele Di Filippo, who had already collaborated with the Anedda Quintet for a previous Brilliant Classics album of Rossini arrangements (95904). In adapting these orchestral scores, Di Filippo aimed to make the melodies sing out while preserving a sense of dialogue, tension and drama between instruments.

- Domenico Cimarosa was one of the best known composers of the Neapolitan School. He held several important musical posts throughout Europe at the court of Tsarina Catherine II in St. Petersburg (1787-1791) or The Emperor Leopold II in Vienna (1791-1797). Vienna was also the birthplace of his most famous work, the opera Il Matrimonio Segreto, which brought him worldwide fame.
- Cimarosa’s gift for fluent and attractive melodies is evident in his many opera overtures, which are still played today. This new recording presents a selection of 9 overtures, arranged for Mandolin Quintet, consisting of two mandolins, a mandola, guitar and double bass: beautiful, brilliant and thoroughly idiomatic performances, in the grand Neapolitan style!
- The Mandolin Quintet “Giuseppe Anedda” gives concerts all over the world, and are enthusiastic advocates of that typical Italian instrument full of surprising possibilities, the Mandolin. Their recording of Rossini Overtures on Brilliant Classics (BC 95904) was enthusiastically hailed by the international press.


Track list

Disk 1

  1. Domenico Cimarosa: Gli orazi e i curiazi
  2. Domenico Cimarosa: Le trame deluse, ossia I raggiri scoperti
  3. Domenico Cimarosa: Il matrimonio segreto
  4. Domenico Cimarosa: I traci amanti
  5. Domenico Cimarosa: Le astuzie femminili
  6. Domenico Cimarosa: L’apparenza inganna, ossia la villeggiatura
  7. Domenico Cimarosa: La circe
  8. Domenico Cimarosa: L’italiana in Londra
  9. Domenico Cimarosa: Volodimiro