Quartet #6b in C Major
for flute, clarinet, horn, and bassoon
by Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868) - Italian composer
Original arrangements by Friederich Berr, new modern editions (URTEXT) re-constructed and edited by Gaetano Ferlazzo. Originally for two violins, cello, and double bass. This work is NOT the same piece as the "Quartet #6 in F Major" published by Ludwig Masters Music. Read from the critical notes below:
Rossini was 12 years old in the summer of 1804 when he composed sei sonate a quattro, or String Sonatas, as he called them, while he summered in the home of Agostino Triossi, a landowner and merchant, who had a home in Covatello. Rossini scored them especially for the musicians he had at his disposal for the summer- Agostino Triossi on the double bass, his cousins, the Morini brothers, on first violin and cello, and Rossini himself on second violin- not the conventional string quartet instrumentation that most are familiar with today. In 1826, an unknown person transcribed these quartets into the standard string quartet instrumentation of two violins, viola, and cello, omitting the Third String Sonata. It is the opinion of numerous researchers that this unknown person must have omitted this sonata due to the heavy reliance on the string bass.
In 1828, when Frederic Berr published his arrangements of these sonatas for Wind Quartet, he did not have access to the Third Sonata and was probably unaware of its existence. Since it was customary to release these types of works in groups of six, it led Berr to release his arrangements as a set of six by pairing his five Wind Quartet arrangements along with Rossini's original composition, the Andante, Theme and Variations. Ever since the publication of the wind quartets in 1828, the Andante, Theme and Variations has been known as Wind Quartet #6.
Though Rossini himself never saw fit to publish the sei sonata a quattro, he preserved and retained the manuscripts all his life. Unlike his other manuscripts, which he routinely gave to friends, business associates, and other acquaintances, the String Sonatas remained in Rossini's possession until the end. In 1873, after his death, his widow, Olympe Pellissier, donated the scores of the sonatas to a friend. No one is quite sure how the manuscripts found their way across the Atlantic, but it was in 1951 when Alfredo Casella found Rossini's manuscript housed in the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Immediately after this incredible discovery, Casella prepared the score and published the Third String Sonata, which had not been heard since the summer of 1804. In 1954, The Rossini Foundation of Pesaro, Italy published the complete sei sonata a quattro in its original instrumentation.
After careful study of Frederic Berr's arranging techniques, the Third Sonata of Rossini's sei sonata a quattro is presented here for the first time, arranged for winds, by Gaetano Ferlazzo, making the entire set of Rossini's Six Sonatas complete with the publication. It is being numbered as Quartet #6(b) so that it is not confused with what many know as Quartet #6, the Andante, Theme, and Variations.