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Thread: The Rossini Tread

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    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Default The Rossini Tread

    I've recently got into this guy's operas. Anyone got anything to say about himself, his operas and recordings / DVDs we should look out for?

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    His music can give a false impression of being more facile than it is. Most underrated Rossini opera?

    Matilde di Shabran:

    Shabran.jpg

    Matilde.jpg

    N.

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    I'm a big fan of Rossini.

    Of course, for a man writing so many operas, I can't say all of them are favorites of mine. And I have a preference for his dramatic pieces, rather than his buffa works.

    Perhaps, forced to choose one, I would go for Tancredi. This is an opera written by a very young man (Rossini was only 21 years old), and he completed his work in record time, as usual, but the final result have a kind of purity, of simplicity that simply gets me every time.

    There are two endings written by Rossini. The first one, a happy one, called the "Venice ending", and a tragic one, much more in line with Voltaire and with Rossini's intentions, called the "Ferrara ending". The tragic is the right choice, in my view.

    This is a nice performance from Barcelona's Liceu, with Horne, Palacios and Lloris, that can be a good introduction. There are some great performers of the role of Tancredi, including Horne herself, Valentini Terrani or Podles, and eventually, if Tancredi performs its magic in the listener, one would like to hear all of them, as well as a version by such an expert on Rossini like Alberto Zedda, but as a first contact, I think it's fine:


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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    L'Italiana is one of my favorite operas.
    To me Barbiere, L'Italiana, Cenerentola are his best comedic works.

    W.Tell is a masterpiece.

    The rest of his operas are ok, but not in that class.

    Wish he didn't retire so early, but maybe that's all he had to say.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

    "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Hamlet

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    Senior Member Belowpar's Avatar
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    When I go to Puccini Opera I always in enjoy it more than I expect to

    Somehow when I go to a Rossini Opera I always enjoy it less than I had hoped. As Oscar might have said. He has great moments but dull quarter hours.

    I find Barbiere never fails and L'taliana and Il Turco delight too. But a couple of years ago we saw Cenerentola in Vienna and month later Joyce Di Donato at ROH in La Donna Del Lago and to me sadly both evenings dragged a little.


    I think modern Opera houses are just to large for his music. I sometimes feel it with Mozart but sadly always with Rossini.

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    A good CD full of Rossini is Joyce DiDonato's Colbran the Muse.
    It's very good.
    "Where words fail, music speaks."- Hans Christian Andersen

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    Quote Originally Posted by Belowpar View Post
    When I go to Puccini Opera I always in enjoy it more than I expect to

    Somehow when I go to a Rossini Opera I always enjoy it less than I had hoped. As Oscar might have said. He has great moments but dull quarter hours.

    I find Barbiere never fails and L'taliana and Il Turco delight too. But a couple of years ago we saw Cenerentola in Vienna and month later Joyce Di Donato at ROH in La Donna Del Lago and to me sadly both evenings dragged a little.


    I think modern Opera houses are just to large for his music. I sometimes feel it with Mozart but sadly always with Rossini.
    I found that Donna del Lago dragged too, but it's not the opera, the conducting and production were dreadful.

    N.

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    I really liked Il turco in Italia, Il barbiere di Siviglia and La Cenerentola. In Barbiere I'm really amazed when the bass has to sing so quickly. Like in A un dottor della mia sorte. I really love the comedic bass roles. I haven't heard/seen that many of his works, but I'm eagerly waiting. I have the Callas Armida which I really should have listened a while ago. I really don't have enough time
    "First I sing loud. When I start to run out of breath I sing softer" Giuseppe Di Stefano on his Faust high c diminuendo

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    A very witty man, who retired to become a bon vivant. I love tournedos rossini.
    two favourite stories;
    On Wagner:
    One can’t judge Lohengrin after a first hearing, and I certainly don’t intend hearing it a second time.

    Rossini was once asked to listen to two pieces by a young Italian composer and tell him which he preferred. After playing the first, the young man was reaching for the score of the second when Rossini stopped him: ``There's no need to play further,'' he told him, ``I much prefer the second.''

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    Although he is (deservedly) best known for his operas, don't overlook his String Sonatas - they are very enjoyable (if you like music from that era)
    "Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils." Berlioz, 1856

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    And his Stabat Mater, delightful, though very operatic

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    On Rossini's retirement at the age of 32

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/03/ar...pera.html?_r=0

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    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Rossini quotes:

    "Give me the laundress' bill and I will set to music even that."

    "I take him [Beethoven] twice a week, Haydn four times, and Mozart every day. You will tell me that Beethoven is a Colossus who often gives you a dig in the ribs, whilst Mozart is always adorable; it is that the latter had the chance of going very young to Italy, at a time when they still sang well."

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    On Rossini's retirement at the age of 32

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/03/ar...pera.html?_r=0
    Even if I am not so fond of Rossinis operas myself I must say it is really impressing that he composed that many operas that are still among the most popular at that young age. Donizettis earliest opera that is still really popular Anna Bolena premiered when he was 33 Puccini was 38 when La Boheme premiered and 34 when Manon Lescaut premiered.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sloe View Post
    Even if I am not so fond of Rossinis operas myself I must say it is really impressing that he composed that many operas that are still among the most popular at that young age. Donizettis earliest opera that is still really popular Anna Bolena premiered when he was 33 Puccini was 38 when La Boheme premiered and 34 when Manon Lescaut premiered.
    Actually, Mozart didn't die in 1791.

    He just feigned his death in order to escape from his creditors, and then he lived for many years in Italy working in disguise for a young and rather average Italian composer, named Rossini. This arrangement was very succesful until Mozart really died, and then Rossini was forced to retire.

    This (a joke, of course) is the plot of an opera, Un segreto d'importanza ovvero La faticosa vecchiaia di Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, by Sergio Rendine and Lorenzo Arruga, premiered at the Opera of Montecarlo, back in 1992.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzJ4gBKyvnI

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