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Vincenzo Bellini

Vincenzo Bellini (Composer)

Born: 3rd November 1801, Catania, Italy

Died: 23rd September 1835, Puteaux, France

Nationality: Italian

Vincenzo Salvatore Carmelo Francesco Bellini was an Italian opera composer, who was known for his long-flowing melodic lines for which he was named "the Swan of Catania". Many years later, in 1898, Giuseppe Verdi "praised the broad curves of Bellini's melody: 'there are extremely long melodies as no-one else had ever made before'."

A large amount of what is known about Bellini's life and his activities comes from surviving letters—except for a short period—which were written over his lifetime to his friend Francesco Florimo, whom he had met as a fellow student in Naples and with whom he maintained a lifelong friendship. Other sources of information come from correspondence saved by other friends and business acquaintances.

Bellini was the quintessential composer of the Italian bel canto era of the early 19th century, and his work has been summed up by the London critic Tim Ashley as:

... also hugely influential, as much admired by other composers as he was by the public. Verdi raved about his "long, long, long melodies such as no one before had written." Wagner, who rarely liked anyone but himself, was spellbound by Bellini's almost uncanny ability to match music with text and psychology.

Further Reading: Bellini

 Interview, Daniele Rustioni on Bellini's Adelson e Salvini

The young Italian conductor talks to Katherine about recording Bellini's first opera, due for release tomorrow on Opera Rara.

 Favourites, Vincenzo Bellini

Katherine selects some favourite recordings of works by the bel canto composer.

Popular Works: Bellini

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Italian Opera Arias
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A Journey: Pretty Yende
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Operatic Recital
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Romantic Songs
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