Giovanni Giumarra

Giovanni Giumarra (1861-1936)
Vedi Napoli e poi mori!! – Fantasia for Band

Sicilian-born Giovanni Giumarra, a former Leone Band conductor (1923-1933), has an extensive oeuvre –mostly for wind band. Amongst his best compositions is the fantasy Vedi Napoli e poi mori!!.  With the famous Neapolitan saying “See Naples and then die” as a title, the composition sings the praises, beauties, culture, life and spirit of this Italian city.

The work is made up of 5 contrasting sections, each of which is subtitled. An introductory song-like and very Neaopiltan Core 'a Core!! in triple meter (Andante) leads straight into the second section, Madam Frosciard, in quicker duple meter (Alla Gavotta). The French connotations of this section are highlighted by a musical reference to Le Marseillaise and by the adaptation of the phrase “Son Franse! Ma Patrie!” to two short melodic cells – as marked beneath the instrumental part in the score. Teresita 'a Spagnola is a stand-alone third section with the Spanish flavours underlined by the choice of the typical quick triple meter (Tempo di Valse) and the use of the tambourine. A more sober fourth section in the minor mode (Andante) perfectly illustrates the subtitle Mennela!..parto pà Guerra. The fantasy ends with 'a Posillipo bello!!, a fittingly energetic and cheerful tarantella, the highly contagious southern Italian dance (Allegro Vivo).

The interesting scoring makes considerable use of solo trumpet and althorn, as well as allocates the odd phrase to solo flugelhorn.