Saverio Mercadante - Il Bravo, ossia La veneziana (1839) - Duet/Scene for Pisani & Carlo/Il Bravo - "Ancor giovane e proscritto" (Dino di Domenico & Sergio Bertocchi)


Mercadante composed "Il bravo" between 1838 and 1839, not without difficulty, as he had problems with finding a reliable librettist, going through Bindocci, soon replaced with Gaetano Rossi and later on with Marcelliano who, on the composer's demand, was supervised by Felice Romani. The work was written for Domenico Donzelli (nearing the end of an illustrious career) and premiered with an excellent cast (headed by Schoberlechner, the first Elaisa). The success of the opening night at la Scala on the 9th of March, 1839, was complete. No. 4. Duet for Pisani and Carlo. The present piece is one of the most unstraightforward of the whole opera, developing in a style of an intense dialogue between the two characters, interspersed with passionate ariosos and only two actual concentrated passages. The scene opens with a narrative verse for Pisani who recounts to a skeptical Carlo the story of his love for Violetta. Carlo, in a perfect dramatic touch, does not answer the young man in the same melody. Instead, a hurried discussion breaks between the two men, as Carlo finally realizes that Pisani is searching for Il Bravo, in hope of attaining his help in saving Violetta, a desire that Carlo tries to denounce but an affecting appeal by Pisani, asking the older man if had ever lost someone ("a lover, a mother, a father"), leads to a sudden break in the musical flow, as Carlo is reminded of the reason for his tormented soul; however, he tries to hide his sorrow and turns to Pisani, pleading him to leave Venice and forget his lover in a sombre arioso. Pisani refuses, which leads Carlo to announcing his identity as Il Bravo, shocking Pisani but not reducing his youthful ardor; the music uses a bass line set by the oboe's sudden surges to perfectly mimic the confused situation which is finally resolved in an andante that has the tenors exchanging handsome legato lines. Pisani, however, does not stop asking Il Bravo to give him his identity for two days, just enough time to recover Violetta. I had to cut a short orchestral passage here to limit the upload to eleven minutes, thus, we immediately approach Carlo's solemn warning to Pisani of the Council's limitless power, he then proceeds to implore the young man again to leave the city. Pisani's answer is, on the other hand, suitably life-affirming, as he refuses to be frightened by any kind of danger. Finally, Carlo reluctantly agrees to the exchange. There is no actual stretta in a classical sense of the word, it is replaced with an excited coda, using Pisani's previous arioso's melody as a base, as the men reaffirm their agreement. All in all, not a true duet but a most dramatical dialogue of rare realism. Two tenors, Dino di Domenico as Carlo and Sergio Bertocchi as Pisani, take up very challenging roles and provide a dramatically believable reading of both roles. Hope you'll enjoy :).

More Related Videos

J. C. Bach - Duet for Two Pianos in G Major - Mov. 2/2

J. C. Bach - Duet for Two Pianos in G Major - Mov. 2/2

Pearl Fishers Duet - Jussi Björling and Robert Merrill

Pearl Fishers Duet - Jussi Björling and Robert Merrill

Acoustic Classical Piano Duet - Brothers - 3pianists.com

Acoustic Classical Piano Duet - Brothers - 3pianists.com

Piano duet : tribute to the green movement: Fibich Mazurka

Piano duet : tribute to the green movement: Fibich Mazurka

MALAGUENA, Piano Duet, Played by Erin & Glenn Elmore, 11-15-09

MALAGUENA, Piano Duet, Played by Erin & Glenn Elmore, 11-15-09

Christopher Parkening - Spanish Dance No. 1 (Duet)

Christopher Parkening - Spanish Dance No. 1 (Duet)

"Schon Rosmarin" guitar duet (Chet Atkins arrangement)

Michele Kalmandi - Anda Louise Bogza, duetto - Verdi: Il Trovatore

Michele Kalmandi - Anda Louise Bogza, duetto - Verdi: Il Trovatore

Telemann - Duet for Recorders or Violins in B Flat Major

Telemann - Duet for Recorders or Violins in B Flat Major

Laudamus Te duet featuring Emily Turner and Claire

Laudamus Te duet featuring Emily Turner and Claire

Flower Duet from

Flower Duet from "Lakmé" by Léo Delibes (1883)