Born in Cremona in 1834, Ponchielli studied at the Milan Conservatoire between the years of 1843 and 1854. There he wrote, collaboratively, the first of his many stage works; the operetta Il Sindaco Babbeo
was the work of four students, Ponchielli included. A stint as organist at S. Ilario, Cremona, came between his days at the conservatoire and a life as composer. He first enjoyed success with I promesi sposi (1872) but is now remembered largely for La Gioconda
(1876) and for teaching both Puccini
as a professor at the Milan Conservatoire.
MIDI FILE - from "La Gioconda": Danza delle Ore (7'13'')