Instrumentation: Solo and Piano Instruments: Euphonium, Piano
Bel Canto is an elusive term to define. While it literally translates to beautiful voice, it was a style of singing that emphasized beauty of tone, flexibility, and ease of execution. The music written in this style was characterized by florid lines and an emphasis of musical line over text. The term bel canto was, interestingly enough, not used until the style had faded somewhat. Rossini, at a dinner party in 1858 said, “Alas for us, we have lost our bel canto.”
The 12 Vocalizzi in this volume have depth and stand on their own merit amongst the more serious works of Rossini. I recommend these as recital pieces without reservation. They are the equal to- albeit in a different style than- Rachmaninov’s famous Vocalise Op. 34 No. 14 and are ideal for either unaccompanied or accompanied performance, with the included piano accompaniment making them especially suitable for lessons, juries, and solo recitals. I hope you will enjoy working on these pieces as much as I have. They breathe fresh life into the somewhat stale world of bel-canto-for-brass repertoire.
- Dr. Robert Benton