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Savero Mercadante (1795-1870)

an Italian composer, a little forgotten by now, studied the flute and composition at the Collegio di San Sabastiano in Naples. Owing to his exceptional gifts he became a favorite pupil of the head of school N. Zingarelli, who made him conductor of the school orchestra. The compositions for that orchestra written by the young Mercadante - among others six flute concertos - pleased very much to G. Rossini who appreciating Savero'music assisted him in his career.

At that time it was rare in Italy for a composer to be concerned only with instrumental music, so Mercadante, too, soon began writing operas. And as a mature composer he restricted himself to that kind of music writing eventually 60 operas. And the position he occupies in the history of music he owns largely to them. He was almost as famous as his contemporaries, Donizetti, Bellini and Verdi, but soon after his death he became forgotten. And ironically, what was only marginal of his output, his early attempts at composition, has proved durable and is still played today. The flute Concerto in E minor of 1819, one of the six written during the days of his musical studies, is now widely known owing to its third movement, Rondo Russo, whose catchy melody has became quite a hit in our time.


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