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Old 06-26-2020, 02:06 PM   #1
Michael Kazmierski Dunn
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Default A Piobaireachd based on G. Puccini's "O Mio Babbino Caro"

Rarely any pipers I know of would think that I happen to love the epic "O Mio Babbino Caro", the most famous of operatic soprano songs, composed in 1918 by G. Puccini, so much that I was inspired to compose a Piobaireachd after it. Particularly if this aria is performed by singers with proper vibratos (which are sadly overly rare nowadays... in fact I have created a playlist dedicated to those rare and fortunate singers with proper vibratos, as well as expressive "portamentto" slides, singing this piece). Not to digress!
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...KOk5MHrUR70-h6
Because in the opera this song is sung by the fiancee of Rinuccio I believe, I had the idea to entitle it, "The Fiancee's Lament", as in she (Lauretta) originally can't marry Rinuccio because his grandpa's fortune would have been for the whole church, and not for what would be their new family. But the girl says that if she can't marry Rinuccio, she'd rather drown in the river, so Gianni Schicchi rewrites the grandpa's will and tries to impersonate him. This piece is pretty much the "Scotland the Brave" of opera singing (if every piper learns Scotland the Brave, almost every soprano opera singer almost always is guaranteed to have "O Mio Babbino Caro" in her repertoire).
So because of this - and because my relatively new BFF, Hailey Paige, is a huge fan of classical music and also learning to be an operatic soprano - this is my effort to show that there's a piper that wants to connect the piping and opera world together (it's more easily done with Italian zampogne, but I don't have a zampogne yet, wish I did!). I play this "O Mio Babbino Caro" type of patchwork quilch on the EPipes app using a Fagerstrom Technopipe connected to an IRig Midi, and I call it "The Fiance's Lament". For an opera enthusiast it will sound very little like the original, melodically speaking - it's meant to sound like a Piobaireachd.
Please note: This is my first-ever time playing this piece through, so there are definitely tons of slipups. I literally thought of it a week before I played this. So forgive the inconsistencies! Please don't be too critical (as in 'never miss a gracenote'), plus these are only Technopipes connected to the EPipes app using an Irig, so mistakes are bound to happen. Also, if I were to suggest one more thing, it might help to take a listen to my operatic playlist so pipers will have a greater sense of the melody upon which it was based.
So here are two classical genres combined more or less:
https://youtu.be/BAauV1TLPuE
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Old 06-27-2020, 12:29 AM   #2
CalumII
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Default Re: A Piobaireachd based on G. Puccini's "O Mio Babbino Caro"

That's a really beautiful ground. Indeed, my only comment is that such a melody would easily cope with extension - perhaps a thumb variation, or a first variation and doubling.
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Old 06-27-2020, 07:48 AM   #3
Klondike Waldo
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Default Re: A Piobaireachd based on G. Puccini's "O Mio Babbino Caro"

You might be interested in my bagpipe settings of Coro di Schiavi Ebrei from Nabuccco, Tu Chi a spiegasti l'alli from Lucia di Lammermoor or Con Ti Partiṛ. ( I'm a tenor, not a soprano )
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Old 06-27-2020, 10:22 AM   #4
Klondike Waldo
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Default Re: A Piobaireachd based on G. Puccini's "O Mio Babbino Caro"

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Originally Posted by Klondike Waldo View Post
You might be interested in my bagpipe settings of Coro di Schiavi Ebrei from Nabuccco, Tu chi a Dio spiegasti l'alli from Lucia di Lammermoor or Con Ti Partiṛ. ( I'm a tenor, not a soprano )
(edited to correct aria title)
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Old 06-27-2020, 11:15 AM   #5
Michael Kazmierski Dunn
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Default Re: A Piobaireachd based on G. Puccini's "O Mio Babbino Caro"

Honestly, Klondike, I don't listen to tenors so I've actually never heard these. The only connection I have with Nabuccco, is that the famous Dutch soprano, Cristina Deutekom (1931 - 2014), played one of the soprano roles in that opera (I think her character's name was Abby, if I remember). I only read about this, never heard it before. But Cristina is one of my favorite sopranos and I'm really sorry for her passing. Best scales (roulades, in opera-speak) you've ever heard. What's odd is that I don't even think Cristina ever sang "O Mio Babbino Caro!
But, Cristina did perform "Caro Nome", from the opera Rigoletto, by G. Verdi, as Gilda, in 1971.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdQ7...&index=27&t=0s
The first time I heard that piece was actually by another favorite singer of mine, a friend of mine in fact, the blind English soprano Denise Leigh of Staffordshire (197?) who is now retired from singing, since 2019. She recorded it on her debut album from 2003 (ancient history LOL), which also included a stunning "O Mio Babbino Caro" which I put in the playlist.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3lBe0eM33U
I think the next best thing is to arrange "Caro Nome" for a zampogna and ciaramella. Very few people know that a ciaramella has a complete two-octave range, but that's possible. Heck, you can play the first Queen of the Night aria fully satisfactorily on a ciaramella! Hate to say this but very few sopranos can do it right. Almost everyone including the most evil Damrau have awful wobble vibratos, but try Cristina Deutekom again, Emma Matthews, Lucia Popp, Erika Miklosa and Alexandra Chernyshova.
It's also super amazing that we play Rossini in our pretty-much everyday piping repertoire (Green Hills). My BFF Hailey thought that's just super amazing, and it was actually Hailey that suggested I compose a piobaireachd based on the one piece that every soprano learns, which happens to be "O Mio Babbino Caro".

@Callum: I like your suggestion of adding some (unnamed) first variation or ground doubling to the piece. At the same time though I don't want to literally take what Puccini did and add some gracenotes to it. Maybe a variation like that of the Little Spree? I.e., Two long notes and a short note followed by a grep/grip to the same note? And for those of you who have never heard the actual piece, perhaps it would make sense to listen to some or all of my playlist so you can get a sense of how (relatively) easy it was for me to base this piobaireachd. Heck, since this piece is so common in the opera world I thought that because of its commonality in opera that it might slowly become common in piping.
And how's the title? To me, "Lauretta's Lament" sounds too Italian so I thought of "The Fiancee's Lament". In fact, for you non-Italian speakers, the title of the original Puccini piece means "Oh my dear / beloved father".
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Old 06-27-2020, 05:53 PM   #6
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Default Re: A Piobaireachd based on G. Puccini's "O Mio Babbino Caro"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Kazmierski Dunn View Post
I don't want to literally take what Puccini did and add some gracenotes to it. Maybe a variation like that of the Little Spree? I.e., Two long notes and a short note followed by a grep/grip to the same note?

What I'd do right now is nothing - I'd just keep playing that ground and really get to know it.



What I had in mind was the melodic variations - Mary MacLeod, or Corrienessan's. Something that's settling into a more formal rhythm but not the fixed form of dithis, taorluath, crunluath. But as I say I'd just give it time and as you get to know the piece you might get a clearer idea. Piobaireachd composition is best done slow, I think.
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