The arrangement of this short aria antica attributed to Pergolesi was commissioned for the concert-tribute to Enrico Caruso held in Paris at the Théâtre des Champs Élysées on 15 June 2009. Intended for a philharmonic orchestra and with a concert program consisting mainly of excerpts from Romantic works, I decided to forego an overly intimate or chamber version in favour of a more lyrical style that respected the majestic funeral version offered by the great Enrico Caruso (initially I wanted to offer an arrangement that respected the solemnity and sobriety of the original text). Indeed, the Italian text describes the funeral lament of a young lover begging the wind and percussion instruments to wake up his little Nina, who has been bedridden for three
days, so that she doesn’t sleep any more… Drawing inspiration from Enrico Caruso’s recording, I tried to give the orchestra the macabre, somber atmosphere of a desperate situation in which the strings unite heav- ily with the woodwinds and brass to develop their full expressivity, like great organs. I have also respected the finale of the Caruso version, which invents an original coda, lengthening the aria somewhat. The orchestra illustrates this finale in the manner of a procession, punctuating its march with accents that are more fune- real than religious.
(translation Hjördis Thébault)
2 flûtes, 2 hautbois, 2 clarinettes, 2 bassons, 4 cors, 2 trombones, voix, cordes