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Ernesto Cavallini (1807-1874)
Una lagrima sulla tomba dell'immortale Rossini
The most distinguished Italian clarinettist of the nineteenth century, Ernesto Cavallini (1807-1874) was also a prolific composer. Succeeding his teacher, Carulli, as principal clarinet in the orchestra of La Scala, Milan, he also toured extensively in Europe, usually playing his own compositions, and in 1852 moved to St Petersburg, playing principal clarinet in the court and theatre orchestras and enhancing his reputation as a soloist. Appointed clarinet professor at the newly founded conservatoire in the city, he also taught singing and composed music for the voice. His playing was the inspiration for the clarinet solos in Verdi's opera La Forza del Destino, given its first performance at St Petersburg in 1862 in the presence of the composer.
Una Lagrima has been recorded by Colin Bradbury and Oliver Davies on the CD The Art of the Clarinettist (CC0008).