Leone Sinigaglia (1868-1944) was an Italian composer, born into an upper middle-class family in the city of Turin, where he was in contact with some of the leading figures in the arts and sciences at that time. Beginning in 1888, he started travelling around Europe. While in Vienna, Sinigaglia associated with Johannes Brahms, under whose influence he composed several lieder and the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra. During 1900 he lived in Prague, where he worked with Antonin Dvorak, from whom he learned to apply classical techniques to the arrangement of popular songs. In the ten years that followed his return to Turin in 1901, Sinigaglia transcribed many popular songs from the oral tradition. During World War II, the city of Turin was occupied by Nazi police. Due to his Jewish origins, Sinigaglia was subject to persecution and at the age of seventy-five was to have been sent to Germany as slave labor, but suffered a fatal heart attack at the moment of his arrest.
During the nineteenth century, a common type of variation form was the 'Formal-outline variation,' in which the theme's form and phrase structure remain constant through the following variations, rather than an emphasis on melodic variation. This is the form chosen by Sinigaglia for his set of variations that he composed for oboe (clarinet or violin) and piano, first published in 1898.
This Jeanne edition, edited by Valarie Anderson, includes a "Master Class" with practice and interpretive suggestions. Sinigaglia's variations are a wonderful addition to our repertoire and present an interesting study in this type of variation form. There are many contrasting melodic styles presented in this set of short variations. This work is from a period where we have little repertoire, and can make an interesting addition in a recital program. Duration: 9.5 minutes.
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