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Gaetano Donizetti

Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti (29 November 1797 – 8 April 1848) was an Italian composer, best known for his almost 70 operas. Along with Gioachino Rossini and Vincenzo Bellini, he was a leading composer of the bel canto opera style during the first half of the nineteenth century and a probable influence on other composers such as Giuseppe Verdi. Donizetti was born in Bergamo in Lombardy. At an early age he was taken up by Simon Mayr who enrolled him with a full scholarship in a school which he had set up. There he received detailed musical training. Mayr was instrumental in obtaining a place for Donizetti at the Bologna Academy, where, at the age of 19, he wrote his first one-act opera, the comedy Il Pigmalione, which may never have been performed during his lifetime.

An offer in 1822 from Domenico Barbaja, the impresario of the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, which followed the composer's ninth opera, led to his move to Naples and his residency there until production of Caterina Cornaro in January 1844. In all, 51 of Donizetti's operas were presented in Naples. Before 1830, success came primarily with his comic operas, the serious ones failing to attract significant audiences. His first notable success came with an opera seria, Zoraida di Granata, which was presented in 1822 in Rome. In 1830, when Anna Bolena was first performed, Donizetti made a major impact on the Italian and international opera scene shifting the balance of success away from primarily comedic operas, although even after that date, his best-known works included comedies such as L'elisir d'amore (1832) and Don Pasquale (1843). Significant historical dramas did succeed; they included Lucia di Lammermoor (the first to have a libretto written by Salvadore Cammarano) given in Naples in 1835, and one of the most successful Neapolitan operas, Roberto Devereux in 1837. Up to that point, all of his operas had been set to Italian libretti.

Donizetti found himself increasingly chafing against the censorship limitations in Italy (and especially in Naples). From about 1836, he became interested in working in Paris, where he saw greater freedom to choose subject matter, in addition to receiving larger fees and greater prestige. From 1838, beginning with an offer from the Paris Opéra for two new works, he spent much of the following 10 years in that city, and set several operas to French texts as well as overseeing staging of his Italian works. The first opera was a French version of the then-unperformed Poliuto which, in April 1840, was revised to become Les martyrs. Two new operas were also given in Paris at that time. Throughout the 1840s Donizetti moved between Naples, Rome, Paris, and Vienna, continuing to compose and stage his own operas as well as those of other composers. From around 1843, severe illness began to limit his activities. By early 1846 he was obliged to be confined to an institution for the mentally ill and, by late 1847, friends had him moved back to Bergamo, where he died in April 1848 in a state of mental derangement due to neurosyphilis.

Birth and Death Data: Born November 29, 1797 (Bergamo), Died April 8, 1848 (Bergamo)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1898 - 1941

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer, arranger

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings (Results 76-100 of 581 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor C-14057 12-in. 11/11/1913 A furtive tear Charles Harrison Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-14306 12-in. 1/12/1914 Gran fantasia Vessella's Italian Band Band composer  
Victor C-14731 12-in. 4/20/1914 Della duchessa ai prieghi Enrico Caruso ; Ema Destinnová ; Antonio Scotti Vocal trio (soprano, tenor, and baritone), with orchestra composer  
Victor C-14817 12-in. 5/11/1914 O luce di quest'anima Luisa Tetrazzini Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-15606 10-in. 1/18/1915 Prelude Francis J. Lapitino Harp solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-15640 12-in. 1/28/1915 Gems from Lucia di Lammermoor Victor Opera Company Vocal chorus and soloists, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-15730 12-in. 2/23/1915 Mad scene Clement Barone ; Olive Kline Soprano vocal solo, with flute and orchestra composer  
Victor B-17062 10-in. 1/26/1916 Dalle stanze Marcel Journet Bass vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-17339 12-in. 3/20/1916 Fra poco a me ricovero Giovanni Martinelli Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-17464 12-in. 4/9/1916 Lucia sextette Reginald L. McAll Organ solo composer  
Victor C-17529 12-in. 4/21/1916 Lucia sextette Hurtado Brothers Royal Marimba Band of Guatemala Marimba band composer  
Victor C-18587 12-in. 10/30/1916 Il dolce suono Clement Barone ; Amelita Galli-Curci Soprano vocal solo, with flute obbligato and orchestra composer  
Victor CVE-18587 12-in. 5/6/1926 Il dolce suono Amelita Galli-Curci Soprano vocal solo, with flute obbligato and orchestra composer  
Victor C-19133 12-in. 1/25/1917 Sextet (Chi mi frena) Angelo Bada ; Enrico Caruso ; Giuseppe De Luca ; Minnie Egener ; Amelita Galli-Curci ; Marcel Journet Vocal sextet (soprano, contralto, 2 tenors, baritone, and bass), with orchestra composer  
Victor C-19134 12-in. 1/26/1917 Anathème de Balthazar Marcel Journet Bass vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-19509 10-in. 3/23/1917 La zingara : Selection Olive Kline Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-19973 12-in. 6/1/1917 Tu che a Dio spiegasti l'ali Giovanni Martinelli Tenor vocal solo, with male vocal chorus, piano, harp, and orchestra composer  
Victor B-19974 10-in. 6/1/1917 Serenata : Com'e gentil Giovanni Martinelli Tenor vocal solo, with mixed vocal chorus, piano, and hap composer  
Victor C-20464 12-in. 7/31/1917 Una furtiva lagrima Carlos Mejía Male vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-20487 10-in. 8/2/1917 Spirto gentil Carlos Mejía Male vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-20611 10-in. 8/8/1917 What from vengeance yet restrains me Boston Quintet Male quintet (vocal quartet and piano) composer  
Victor C-21494 12-in. 3/7/1918 A tanto amor Giuseppe De Luca Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-21679 10-in. 4/17/1918 Sextet from Lucia Halle's Saxophone Band Saxophone band composer  
Victor C-22576 12-in. 2/10/1919 Venti scudi! Enrico Caruso ; Giuseppe De Luca Vocal duet (tenor and baritone), with orchestra composer  
Victor C-23169 12-in. 9/23/1919 Quel guardo Amelita Galli-Curci Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
(Results 76-100 of 581 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Donizetti, Gaetano," accessed April 13, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102598.

Donizetti, Gaetano. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved April 13, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102598.

"Donizetti, Gaetano." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 13 April 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102598

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