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FOLLIA SU UN’ARIA DI GEMINIANI

La Follia, a charming old Portuguese melody that probably comes from around the XVI century, was appreciated by G. Frescobaldi, A. Vivaldi, A. Corelli, M. Marais, A. Scarlatti, and L. Cherubini. They all wrote variations on the Follia, that were sustained by its characteristic repeated basso.

The term "Follia" then came to designate, in a broader sense, a composition in the form of variations on a theme with characteristics similar to the original melody, as for example the compound time and the structure of the harmony divided into two symmetrical parts.
The theme Alfredo Piatti chose for the Follia su un'Aria di Geminiani is the Allegro affettuoso, the last movement of the Sonata V in A minor of the Sonate a Violino e Basso opera IV, composed by Francesco Geminiani (Lucca 1687 - Dublino 1762), and dedicated to the "Illustrissima ed Eccellentissima Signora Margarita, Contessa D'Orrery" in 1739.

The Andante affettuoso, in Alfredo Piatti's version, follows Geminiani faithfully, with the Poco meno in a major key (it is entitled "Non tanto" in Geminiani's version) and the repeat of the theme which, with a stormy Agitato, leads to the masterful cadenza by the cello.
In my revision of the Follia su un'Aria di Geminiani I have tried to maintain Piatti's original annotations on fingerings and bowing by writing them above the notes in the cello part. I have given my own suggestions under the notes as possible solutions. In Geminiani's score, the mark Il stands for a sort of prepared trill with a turned ending.

Christian Bellisario

Opera details:
Follia su un’aria di Geminiani
for cello and piano

Alfredo Piatti Cello Collection
Editor Christian Bellisario

Pizzicato Verlag Helvetia, PVH 765

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