Printed set (Score & Parts)
3 Bb Clarinets
Bb Bass Clarinet
Amilcare Ponchielli was born on August 31, 1834 in the family of a church musician near Cremona, Italy. He received a scholarship at age 9 to study at the Milan Conservatory and composed his first symphony before he was 10. Two years after graduating from the Conservatory, he wrote his first opera "The Betrothed", establishing his fame as an opera composer. His most famous opera is "La Gioconda" (1876). Since 1883, he was composition professor at the Milan Conservatory, that introduced G. Puccini and P. Mascani to the world. He died in Milan on January 17, 1886. For clarinetists, he also famously composed "Il Convegno" for clarinet duet.
The cheerful Gioconda has a blind mother (La Cieca) of strong faith. Barnaba (Spy of the Inquisition Secretary Alvise), who has a crush on Gioconda but is put on his sleeve, suspects Cieca as a witch. Alvise's wife Laura helps her to be accused of being a witch. However, Laura was robbed by Alvise from Gioconda's lover Enzo and even took her land. Gioconda mourns the betrayal by her lover, but forgives when she finds out Laura ultimately aided her mother.
On the other hand, Laura is given poison by her husband when she tries to escape with her former lover Enzo, and is told to kill herself. Gioconda appears and gives Laura a potion that puts her to sleep. Alvise sees his fallen wife and thinks she is dead.
After this, a ball is held and the ballet "Danza dell' Ore (Dance of the Hours)'' is played. Enzo slips into the ball and accuses Alvise of stealing Enzo