lone mintage is dedicated to Gioachino Rossini, who has the distinction of
being born on Leap Day (February 29th) of 1792.
Pesaro to parents who were both musicians (his father a trumpeter, his mother a
singer), Rossini began to compose by the age of 12 and was educated at music
school in Bologna. His first opera was performed in Venice in 1810 when he was
18 years old. In 1815 he was engaged to write operas and manage theatres in
Naples. In the period 1810–1823 he wrote 34 operas for the Italian stage that
were performed in Venice, Milan, Ferrara, Naples and elsewhere. Our montage
features half a dozen opera overtures, spanning most of that period.
withdrawal from opera for the last 40 years of his life has never been fully
explained; contributory factors may have been ill-health, the wealth his
success had brought him, and the rise of spectacular grand opera under
composers such as Giacomo Meyerbeer. From the early 1830s to 1855, when he left
Paris and was based in Bologna, Rossini wrote relatively little – mostly piano
pieces for his own amusement. On his return to Paris in 1855 he became renowned
for his musical salons on Saturdays, regularly attended by musicians and the
artistic and fashionable circles of Paris, for which he wrote the entertaining
pieces Péchés de vieillesse. Guests included Franz Liszt, Anton
Rubinstein, Giuseppe Verdi, Meyerbeer and Joseph Joachim. He died in Paris in
half of the montage is occupied by ballet music written by Ottorino Respighi,
principally based on some of the music Rossini wrote later in his life.
In Rome for
a ballet season, Respighi brought the score of Rossini's Péchés de
vieillesse to the Ballets Russes’ poobah, Serge Diaghilev. Diaghilev tasked
his main choreographer, Leonide Massine, with the task of imagining a ballet to
showcase this music along with disparate piano miniatures. The music could have
no better advocate than Respighi, whose orchestral flair and Italianate bravura
perfectly matched Rossini's lively tunes. One of the Ballets Russes’ most
successful productions, La Boutique Fantasque was performed over 300
times between 1919 and 1929.
I think you will love this music too!