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Gioachino Rossini – Overtures – Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Antonio Pappano (2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Gioachino Rossini – Overtures – Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Antonio Pappano (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:09:50 minutes | 843 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Q0buz | Digital booklet | © Warner Classics
Recorded: Sala Santa Cecilia, Auditorium Parco della Musica, Rome

Continuing their series of Rossini recordings, Antonio Pappano and the Rome-based Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia follow three substantial works – the monumental Stabat Mater, the grandly scaled Guillaume Tell and the Petite Messe Solennelle (famously not as small as it names suggests) – with an appetising array of musical antipasti: seven operatic overtures and an enchanting chamber-scale ‘Andante e tema con variazioni’. “There is nothing quite like Rossini played by Italian musicians, as Pappano’s Santa Cecilia Stabat Mater demonstrated,“ wrote the Sunday Times, and – in Antonio Pappano’s eyes – composers do not come more typically Italian than the Pesaro-born genius who wrote dozens of comic and serious operas, famed for their vocal, technical and theatrical virtuosity: “There’s something about Rossini,” he told the Telegraph, “that gives you a sense of the ideal Italian character type – his measured elegance, his modishess, his exhibitionism…though of course nowadays most of these qualities are on display in the work of clothes designers, not musicians…I try to get the players [of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia] to flaunt their italianità, which means basically a singing tone and warmth. I do think their sound is quite special, and of course I feel very at home with it. I didn’t grow up in Italy but my parents were very Italian, so there are certain things that just go without saying. We naturally phrase the same way.”

It would be hard to find ground more trodden in the orchestral repertory than the Rossini overtures recorded here by Antonio Pappano and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, most of all the William Tell (Guillaume Tell) Overture made popular by The Lone Ranger. And, as a result, the album offers a strong illustration of why this conductor has become so popular. Not only does he make the William Tell Overture sound completely fresh, with such a wealth of delicately traced instrumental detail in the earlier sections that the listener will almost forget the famous finale is coming. He structures the entire program in a way that’s both fun and instructive. The seven overtures are presented in chronological order, beginning with the rarely heard but very effective La scala di seta overture (1812) and ending with William Tell (1829). This is not a common way to perform them, but it works: the big tunes are there throughout, but the internal structure and especially the orchestration bloom like the interior petals of a flower. The similarly rare Andante e tema con variazioni, a set of variations for chamber winds from 1812, is another bonus, in this little piece Rossini seems to have developed some of the wind writing woven throughout the overtures. A superior Rossini instrumental album that anyone might enjoy, most especially those who’ve heard it all before. –AllMusic Review by James Manheim

Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868)
La Scala di Seta (1812)
1. Overture 06:23
Il Signor Bruschino (1813)
2. Overture 04:58
Il Barbiere di Siviglia (1816)
3. Overture 07:15
La Cenerentola (1817)
4. Overture 08:19
Semiramide (1823)
5. Overture 12:08
Le siege de Corinthe (1826)
6. Overture 09:09
Guillaume Tell (1829)
7. Overture 11:34
8. Andante e tema con variazioni in E-Flat Major (1812) 10:08

Carlo Tamponi, flute
Alessandro Carbonare, clarinet
Francesco Bossone, bassoon
Alessio Allegrini, horn
Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Antonio Pappano, conductor


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