Overture to Nabucco
Composed by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)
For Woodwind Quintet
Arranged by Joachim Linckelmann
Published by Barenreiter
Flute/Piccolo, Oboe, Clarinet in A, Horn in D, and Bassoon
Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) referred to Nabucco, or Nabucodonosor, of 1842 as the first of his operatic works even though he already had two previous operas to his credit: Oberto (1839) and Un giorno di regno (1840), of which the latter proved to be a huge fiasco.
With Nabucco however – and especially with its choruses, which earned him the nickname “papa dei cori” – Verdi was able to give musical expression to the liberationist dreams of the enfettered Italian nation of the risorgimento. It is hardly far-fetched to say that this is music of political significance – particularly the famous chorus Va pensiero sull'ali dorate, which has become a sort of inofficial national anthem of Italy.
To claim that this arrangement has achieved a similar emancipation for the woodwind quintet would, of course, be somewhat exaggerated. None the less, it does its part in further loosening the shackles of the conventional repertoire for this ensemble.
— Joachim Linckelmann
(Translated by J. Bradford Robinson)