Paul Taffanel (1844-1908)
Edited by Philippe Bernold
Duration: 8 min
This fantasy on themes from the opera Francoise de Rimini by Ambroise Thomas (1811-1896) is one of five grandes fantaisies on famous 19th century operas composed by Taffanel.
The Fantasy on Francoise de Rimini (Ambroise Thomas' last opera, composed between 1876 and 1881) differs considerably from Taffanel's other fantasies. Stylistically speaking, this rather dramatic paraphrase has not much in common with the light spirit of the Fantasy on Leo Delibes' Jean de Nivelle. Thomas' libretto draws its inspiration from an episode in Dante's Divine Comedy: a dramatic story of love and war in which the young heroine is torn between her love and her patriotic duty.
Taffanel chose to work on purely instrumental passages and selected themes respectively from the Prologue Inferno (apparition of Virgil), and the Ballet divertissement in act III (n.14): Adagio, Saltarelle & Sevillana.