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Domenico Liverani (1805-1877)
Cujus Animam from Rossini's Stabat Mater
Friend and dedicated admirer of Rossini, Domenico Liverani (1805-1877) was Professor of Clarinet at Bologna's Liceo Musicale from 1838 to 1868. A virtuoso player who was reported to have an extraordinarily powerful tone, he was responsible for introducing the Boehm clarinet to Italy and he composed a considerable amount of music for the instrument, including a concerto dedicated to Rossini and a cantata with clarinet obbligato.
His fantasias on themes from operas and other vocal works are not only masterpieces in their own right, but are important for the insight they give us, through his characterisation of the vocal lines, into the extremes of contemporaneous vocal practice, sometimes to the point of parody. Cujus Animam (1845) is the first of two Chants Réligieux sur le Stabat Mater. Liverani dedicated them to the young Marchese Camillo Pizzardi who later found the Società del Quartetto at Bologna.
I am grateful to Pamela Weston for permission to draw on her research.
© Colin Bradbury.
Cujus Animam has been recorded by Colin Bradbury and Oliver Davies on the CD The Art of the Clarinettist (CC0008).