Amilcare Ponchielli

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ponchielli, Amilcare


Born Aug. 31, 1834, in Paderno Fasolaro, now Paderno Ponchielli, near Cremona; died Jan. 16, 1886, in Milan. Italian composer.

Ponchielli was first an organist and then a conductor in Cremona. In 1881 he became the choir director of the cathedral in Bergamo. Beginning in 1883 he was a professor at the Milan Conservatory, where P. Mascagni and G. Puccini were among his students. Ponchielli was known chiefly as a composer of operas. His La Gioconda (libretto by A. Boito, based on Hugo’s drama Angelo, Tyrant of Padua), first performed at La Scala in Milan in 1876, gained world fame. His other works included two ballets and the Garibaldi Hymn (1882).


Napoli, G. de. A. Ponchielli. Cremona, 1936.
Damerini, A. A. Ponchielli. Turin, 1940.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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OPERA: La Gioconda - Opera by Amilcare Ponchielli, May 25, 18:30, State Opera Banska Bystrica
"Il primo rimaneggiamento dei <<Promessi sposi>> in alcune lettere inedite di Amilcare Ponchielli", Rassegna dorica 9, no.
Arthaus Musik: 107 291 La Gioconda, which sets a libretto by Arrigo Boito adapted from a story by Victor Hugo, is Amilcare Ponchielli's only opera in the standard repertory; although it s known largely today for its dazzling Act III ballet, "The Dance of the Hours" (immortalized in Disney's Fantasia with a pastiche of dancing ostriches, hippos, elephants and alligators, and in Allan Sherman s novelty song, "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh").
The tune was adapted from Dance Of The Hours from Act 3 of La Gioconda by Amilcare Ponchielli (1834-86).
Yet Fischer-Dieskau's repertory knew few international boundaries, also encompassing works by Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Gabriel Faure, Edvard Grieg, Antonin Dvorak, Giacomo Meyerbeer, Bela Bartok, Henry Purcell, Amilcare Ponchielli, George Frideric Handel, Franz Liszt, and numerous others.
Finally, John Gordon's "'Circe,' La Gioconda, and the Opera House of the Mind" focuses on the emotional climax of the novel, Stephen's confrontation with the specter of his dead mother, tracing many details in this scene to a climactic moment in Amilcare Ponchielli's opera.
LA GIOCONDA, AMILCARE PONCHIELLI'S POST-middle-period-Verdi potboiler of 1876, made an entertaining end to the Opera de Montreal season.
In showing the stylistic influence that flowed from Fosca to the much better known La gioconda of Amilcare Ponchielli, Goes debunks the efforts of Italian musicologists, inclined, for chauvinistic reasons, to boost Ponchielli and ignore Gomes.