Lorenzo Regazzo (Bas-bariton) Dimitri Romano (Piano) In the fashionable circles of late 19th-century musical Venice, it was a matter of pride that among the small number of scores the great Gioachino Rossini kept at his home in Passy were several canzonettas by Antonio Buzzolla. Buzzolla was known then, as now, primarily as an inspired composer of ariettas in Venetian dialect. Though he produced two early operas, he went on to be maestro di cappella at St Mark’s, in which role he wrote part of the collaborative Requiem for Rossini. But his central legacy is seven collections of Venetian ariettas and canzonettas, around 80 works in all. These are the peak of a genre: the dialect song inspired by the barcarolles of the gondoliers of Venice, that enchanted, fantastical place which, by the late Romantic era, was seen as the spectral haunt of lugubrious Lisztian gondolas. In making this album of Venetian songs, most of them never been recorded before, Lorenzo Regazzo seeks to alert a wider audience to this little-known and under-appreciated strand of vocal chamber music and to encourage a revival of Buzzolla’s music in general.