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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 151-175 of 581 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor CVE-59807 12-in. 3/12/1930 Lucia di Lammermoor Lily Pons Soprano vocal solo, with flute obbligato composer  
Victor CVE-64398 12-in. 12/8/1930 Ardon gl'incensi Lily Pons ; George Possell Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra and flute obbligato composer  
Victor CVE-64399 12-in. 12/8/1930 Spargi d'amaro pianto Lily Pons ; George Possell Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor PCVE-68380 12-in. 8/7/1932 Napoli Nathaniel Finston ; Paramount Studio Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor CSHQ-73130 12-in. 7/28/1932 Il dolce suono Mrs. F. Wagner Soprano vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor CSHQ-73131 12-in. 7/28/1932 Ardon gl'incensi Mrs. F. Wagner Soprano vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor CS-81053 12-in. 1/15/1934 Una furtiva lagrima Tito Schipa Tenor vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor BS-83126 10-in. 5/4/1934 Quando rapito in extasi Dory Marinelli Soprano vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor MBS-90667 10-in. March 1936 or earlier Una furtiva lágrima Orquesta RCA Victor ; Alfonso Ortiz Tirado Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor S-162 12-in. Mar. 1907 Spirito gentil Amadeo Llauradó Tenor vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor PBS-09989 10-in. 2/2/1938 Una furtiva lagrima John Carter Tenor vocal solo composer  
Victor CS-014638 12-in. 10/6/1937 Una furtiva lagrima Richard Crooks ; Wilfrid Pelletier Tenor vocal solo, with electric organ and orchestra composer  
Victor BS-017368 10-in. 12/6/1937 Aria from Lucia Dorothy Chapman Female vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor BS-060606 10-in. 1/30/1941 Sextette Donald Lambert Piano solo composer  
Victor BVE-Test-440 10-in. 12/11/1929 Mad scene Stella Power Female vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor [Trial 1917-05-16-01] Not documented 5/16/1917 Spirto gentil Carlos Mejía Male vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor [Trial 1922-04-27-02] 10-in. 4/27/1922 Sextette from Lucia Jennie Durkee Ukulele solo, with piano composer  
Victor [Trial 1922-09-26-01] 10-in. 9/26/1922 Sextette from Lucia Chester Gaylord ; W. A. Gaylord Accordion and saxophone duet composer  
Victor [Trial 1925-03-31-01] 10-in. 3/31/1925 L'elisir d'amore Michael Belfatto Male vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor [Trial 1925-08-19-03] 12-in. 8/19/1925 Lucia di Lammermoor : Sextette Forizel Von Reuter Violin solo, unaccompanied composer  
Victor [Trial 1928-05-04-01] 10-in. 5/4/1928 Una furtiva lagrima Allan Jones Male vocal solo, with piano composer  
Columbia 496 10-in. approximately 1901 Lucia : Sextette Columbia Band Band composer  
Columbia 496 7-in. ca. 1901-Oct. 1905 Lucia : Sextette Columbia Band Band composer  
Columbia 1256 7-in. ca. 1903-Oct. 1905 Vien, Leonora Alberto De Bassini Baritone vocal solo, with piano composer  
Columbia 1256 10-in. ca. 1903 Vien, Leonora Alberto De Bassini Baritone vocal solo, with piano composer  
(Results 151-175 of 581 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Donizetti, Gaetano," accessed April 21, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102598.

Donizetti, Gaetano. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved April 21, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102598.

"Donizetti, Gaetano." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 21 April 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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