Amilcare Ponchielli was born in 1834 in Paderno, Italy, and died in Milan in 1886. Ponchielli studied at the prestigious Milan Conservatory between the ages of 9 and 18. He is most recognized for his opera, La Gioconda, and primarily its ballet, The Dance of the Hours, which premiered at La Scala in Milan in 1876. Ponchielli composed Paolo e Viginia in March of 1877 for violin, clarinet and piano. In addition to composing, Ponchielli served as an organist in Cremona, a bandmaster in Piacenza, and Maestro di Cappella at the Bergamo Cathedral. Ponchielli also taught composition at the Milan Conservatory and counted Puccini among his pupils.
Gibbs’ arrangement of Paolo e Viginia for Eb Clarinet, Bb Clarinet and Piano was commissioned in August, 2000 by Diane Cawein Barger and Thomas Leistner. It premiered as part of a memorial recital for Robert Marcellus on September 23, 2000.
solo parts included: Clarinet in Eb, Clarinet in Bb