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Vincenzo Bellini

Vincenzo Salvatore Carmelo Francesco Bellini (Italian: [vinˈtʃɛntso salvaˈtoːre karˈmɛːlo franˈtʃesko belˈliːni] (listen); 3 November 1801 – 23 September 1835) was an Italian opera composer, who was known for his long-flowing melodic lines for which he was named "the Swan of Catania". Many years later, in 1898, Giuseppe Verdi "praised the broad curves of Bellini's melody: 'there are extremely long melodies as no-one else had ever made before'."

A large amount of what is known about Bellini's life and his activities comes from surviving letters—except for a short period—which were written over his lifetime to his friend Francesco Florimo, whom he had met as a fellow student in Naples and with whom he maintained a lifelong friendship. Other sources of information come from correspondence saved by other friends and business acquaintances.

Bellini was the quintessential composer of the Italian bel canto era of the early 19th century, and his work has been summed up by the London critic Tim Ashley as:

... also hugely influential, as much admired by other composers as he was by the public. Verdi raved about his "long, long, long melodies such as no one before had written" Wagner, who rarely liked anyone but himself, was spellbound by Bellini's almost uncanny ability to match music with text and psychology. Liszt and Chopin professed themselves fans. Of the 19th-century giants, only Berlioz demurred. Those musicologists who consider Bellini to be merely a melancholic tunesmith are now in the minority.

In considering which of his operas can be seen to be his greatest successes over the almost two hundred years since his death, Il pirata laid much of the groundwork in 1827, achieving very early recognition in comparison to Donizetti's having written thirty operas before his major 1830 triumph with Anna Bolena. Both I Capuleti ed i Montecchi at La Fenice in 1830 and La sonnambula in Milan in 1831 reached new triumphal heights, although initially Norma, given at La Scala in 1831 did not fare as well until later performances elsewhere. "The genuine triumph" of I puritani in January 1835 in Paris capped a significant career. Certainly, Il pirata, Capuleti, La sonnambula, Norma, and I puritani are regularly performed today.

After his initial success in Naples, most of the rest of his short life was spent outside of both Sicily and Naples, those years being followed with his living and composing in Milan and Northern Italy, and—after a visit to London—then came his final masterpiece in Paris, I puritani. Only nine months later, Bellini died in Puteaux, France at the age of 33.

Birth and Death Data: Born 1801 (Catania), Died Puteaux

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1897 - 1933

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 161 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Berliner 305 7-in. 10/11/1898 Polacca August P. Stengler Clarinet solo composer  
Berliner 314 7-in. Before Apr. 1899 Norma : Duet George McNeice ; August P. Stengler Clarinet duet composer  
Berliner 341 7-in. Before Apr. 1899 La sonnambula August P. Stengler Clarinet solo composer  
Berliner 1112 7-in. 8/12/1897 Vi ravviso Alberto Del Campo Baritone vocal solo composer  
Berliner 1114 7-in. 6/6/1898 La sonnambula : Aria Alberto Del Campo Baritone vocal solo composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]1342 7-in. 3/25/1902 Vi ravviso Sig. Carlos Francisco Baritone vocal solo composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix B-]1342 10-in. 3/25/1902 Vi ravviso Sig. Carlos Francisco Baritone vocal solo composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix C-]2213 12-in. 1901-03 Norma overture Victor Grand Concert Band Band composer  
Victor A-72 7-in. 6/10/1903 Ah! non giunge Edith Helena Soprano vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor B-72 10-in. 6/10/1903 Ah! non giunge Edith Helena Soprano vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor A-867 7-in. 12/21/1903 La sonnambula : Selections Louis H. Christie Clarinet solo composer  
Victor B-867 10-in. 12/21/1903 La sonnambula : Selections Louis H. Christie Clarinet solo composer  
Victor C-870 12-in. 12/23/1903 Il mulino, la fonte, il bosco ... Vi ravviso Pol Plançon Bass vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor B-877 10-in. 12/31/1903 Vi ravviso Antonio Scotti Baritone vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor B-1453 10-in. 6/9/1904 Vi raviso Sig. Carlos Francisco Baritone vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor C-1846 12-in. 10/27/1904 Norma overture Victor Grand Concert Band [i.e., Pryor's Band] Band composer  
Victor B-1902 10-in. 11/5/1904 Ah! non giunge Marcella Sembrich Soprano vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor B-2227 10-in. 2/8/1905 Ah! non giunge Edith Helena Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-2227 12-in. 12/3/1908 Ah! non giunge Edith Helena Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-3174 12-in. 3/9/1906 Vi ravviso, o luoghi ameni Antonio Scotti ; Victor Orchestra Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-3174 10-in. 10/6/1909 Vi ravviso Antonio Scotti Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-3363 12-in. 5/5/1906 Ah! non giunge Marcella Sembrich Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-4179 10-in. 1/17/1907 Fenesta che lucive Vincente Barile Male vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-4285 12-in. 3/6/1907 Suoni la tromba Mario Ancona ; Marcel Journet Vocal duet (baritone and bass), with orchestra composer  
Victor C-4877 12-in. 10/11/1907 Casta diva Marcella Sembrich Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
(Results 1-25 of 161 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Bellini, Vincenzo," accessed October 22, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102890.

Bellini, Vincenzo. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 22, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102890.

"Bellini, Vincenzo." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 22 October 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102890

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