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Overture to 'Artaserse'

for orchestra
edited by Allan Badley
Edition: Performance material

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Domenico Cimarosa was the most famous and popular Italian opera composer of the second half of the 18th Century. In the course of a brilliantly successful career he composed more than 65 operas as well as a significant body of instrumental music and works for the church. His operas were performed all over Europe, both in Italian and in translation. A number of Cimarosa’s operas continued to enjoy occasional stagings during the 19th Century, and his most famous work, Il matrimonio segreto, is one of only a handful of operas of the period never to have left the repertory. Cimarosa chose a much-used libretto for the opera seria he composed in 1784 for Teatro Regio in Turin: Artaserse (Artaxerxes) by the prince of librettists, Pietro Metastasio. The opera seems not to have enjoyed great success: the only recorded performance of Artaserse after its first performance in Turin is one in Lisbon in 1801 for which additions were made to the score by Marcus Antonio Portugal. Interestingly, the overture Cimarosa wrote for Artaserse strongly foreshadows his best-known overture, that to Il matrimonio segreto, which he composed some eight years later. Moreoever, there are similarities between it and two other Cimarosa opera overtures: Il marito disperato, first heard in Naples in 1785, and a reworking of it under the title L’amante disperato which was staged in Naples ten years later. In spite of the opera’s apparent lack of success, the overture, like all of Cimarosa’s overtures, is remarkable for its vitality, melodic invention and assured handling of the orchestra.

Orchestral Cast

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Overture to 'Artaserse'
for orchestra
edited by Allan Badley
Performance material
Artaria Editions
7 ′

Technical Details

Product number:
LAE 262-01
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