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Non Piu Mesta

Matteo Carcassi

In the nineteenth century the opera was immensely popular. Compare it to the charts and po music of these days. Opera composers like Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti and Verdi scored one "chart breaker" after the other.

Many people could not afford to travel to the great opera theatres like the Scala in Milan. Yet the opera melodies spread like wildfire because of the parallel circuit, the musical arrangements. Many composers used the opera hits as the basis for their arrangements, so you could get The Scala at Home! In those days people were not overly concerned with musical copyrights like they are nowadays, many composers considered an honour that his work was arranged by others.

Matteo Carcassi (1792 - 1853) did the same, part of his work consists of arrangements, both opera melodies and folk tunes. This piece is an arrangmement of the last aria from La Cenerentola, an opera around a kind of styled Cinderella theme by Gioacchino Rossini (1792 - 1868). The main character Angelina sings Non Piu Mesta (Never Sad again) at the moment that the happy end is quite clear.

I made a search on Youtube for this song and found a brilliant performance by Cecila Bartoli. I am not quite an opera fanatic, but her performance made me fall in love with the tune instantly. That’s why you find the piece here.

Apparently Carcassi found the theme a bit short, he composed a few variations. According to a more or less standard framework, first in triplets and then in sixteenth notes. The piece is not very difficult, yet it is fun to play.