The nineteenth century saw an enthusuasm for Italian opera which live performance could never satisfy. In the absence of gramophone and radio the instrumental transcription flourished, and composers, often themselves virtuoso performers, found in the most popular arias ready material for their own sets of variations. Here is an outstanding example:
Donato Lovreglio (1841-1907)played the flute and composed many pieces for his own instrument, mainly operatic fantasias, as well as a few for the clarinet. In Fantasia On The Opera 'La Traviata' he demonstrates his remarkable ability to write variations, which, whilst providing a dazzling display of notes, nevertheless remain faithful to the character of the Verdi arias which inspired them.