“Se il mio nome saper voi bramate” is a song performed in Act I of the comic opera in two acts, by Gioacchino Rossini, “Il barbiere di Siviglia”. This song comes immediately after the cavatina of Figaro “Largo al factotum”.
This song is a serenade, which in the opera, Count Almaviva, in love with Rosina, sings them under the false guise of Lindoro.
Everything takes place under the skilful direction of Figaro, the factotum of the city “, who will help Count Almaviva to marry Rosina in spite of her tutor, Don Bartolo, who wanted to marry her against her will.
The famous aria by Don Basilio, Rosina’s music teacher, “La calumnia is a breeze” is also another masterpiece of this opera.
The Barber of Seville was performed for the first time in 1816 at the Teatro Argentina in Rome during the carnival period.
This work is still today one of the most represented works in the world and is the most successful work of the composer Gioacchino Rossini from Pesaro.
But where does the serenade come from?
This musical genre, a composition played and sung, as a declaration of love for a lover, has medieval origins.
It was performed with a simple accompaniment of a lute or a guitar
In the Baroque era, there were particular compositions made to cheer up the parties of the nobility and the growing bourgeoisie during the long evenings. Here, from here, but it is not certain, they took the name of serenades. The story is very similar to that of the romances.
One of the most famous serenade authors was Mozart.
However, in popular jargon the fact that the “serenade” is a love song performed with a simple lute in the evening has been handed down.
Liuto = from arab al ‘ud = wood
Chitarra = originally “quinterna” = liute with 5 strings. From Latin “quinque” and from Persian “tar” = string. The “quinterna” mangled in “chintar” soon became “guitar”.
Un abbraccio/ a big Hug