op. 31, n.1
(sopra temi popolari)
by Leone Sinigaglia
transcr. Valerio Semprevivo
The Turin composer of Jewish origin Leone Sinigaglia (1868-1944) carried out his first musical studies in Turin, then went to Vienna where the meeting with the Bohemian composer Antonin Dvoràk was fundamental, with whom he refined the techniques of orchestration and from whom changed interest in popular music. Upon returning home he began to transcribe the popular melodies heard in the Turin countryside, publishing several collections for voice and piano.
The culmination of this attention to popular music was reached with the Piedmontese Dances op. 31 of 1903, which the great director Arturo Toscanini helped to make known all over the world.
Dance no. 1 is based on the themes of “Spunta ‘l sul” and “Bella if you want to come”, which are treated with elegance, timbre and contrapuntal variety according to the A-B-A form. The transcription tries to render the original atmosphere as much as possible, maintaining its lightness, while not failing to underline the full orchestras, all while trying to maintain a degree of difficulty that makes it executable by as many ensembles as possible. The use of percussion is sparing, mostly used with a color imprint, even if there is no lack of underlining typical of dance rhythms.