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Rossini: The String Sonatas / Wallfisch, Marcus, Et Al


Release Date: 09/13/2005 
Label:  Helios   Catalog #: 55200   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Marshall MarcusChi-Chi NwanokuRichard TunnicliffeElizabeth Wallfisch
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 20 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews





Written in 1804 when Rossini was 12 years old and staying in Ravenna at the home of amateur bass-player Agostino Triosi, the string sonatas and two brief sinfonias are among his earliest works. Scored for two violins, cello, and double bass, they were initially termed Sonate a quattro and the parts labeled for individual instruments, forming an unconventional string quartet. In the intervening years they have been commandeered by chamber orchestras with multiple instruments performing each part.


Long believed Read more lost, Rossini?s original manuscript turned up in the 1950s in the Library of Congress. This followed a 1942 unearthing of five of the works (number three was nowhere to be found) scored for standard string quartet and published in 1826 by Ricordi in Milan; this was edited for publication in 1951 by Italian musicologist and composer Alfredo Casella. Yet another edition appeared in 1828, in an arrangement for flute, clarinet, bassoon, and horn by the clarinetist Friedrich Beer.


These youthful works reveal a child blessed with marked talent, and as annotator Howard Smith noted when Hyperion originally released this CD as CDA 66595 in 1992, ?the author of his own acclaimed destiny as both man and musician.? They also reveal the astonishing speed at which the composer was approaching maturation. Each of the sonatas is in a major key and all follow the fast-slow-fast sequence of movements.


When the initial evaluation of this release appeared in Fanfare a dozen years ago, it was praised for ?virtuoso playing of top quality and dedication.? The performers were among the best in the period-instrument movement at the time and they still are. There is youthful vigor in these recordings, not to mention confidence, and even a tad of swagger; all are appropriate to the tone of this music which impresses by way of Rossini?s incalculable melodic gifts, not to mention his sentient writing for the strings, particularly the unusually prominent bass part, which was written for Rossini?s host in the summer of 1804.


Now that it has been returned to the catalog at a reduced price it is not just a bargain but a steal.


FANFARE: Michael Carter
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata a quattro no 1 in G major by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Marshall Marcus (Violin), Chi-Chi Nwanoku (Double Bass), Richard Tunnicliffe (Cello),
Elizabeth Wallfisch (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1804; Italy 
2.
Sonata a quattro no 2 in A major by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Marshall Marcus (Violin), Chi-Chi Nwanoku (Double Bass), Richard Tunnicliffe (Cello),
Elizabeth Wallfisch (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1804; Italy 
3.
Sonata a quattro no 3 in C major by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Elizabeth Wallfisch (Violin), Chi-Chi Nwanoku (Double Bass), Marshall Marcus (Violin),
Richard Tunnicliffe (Cello)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1804; Italy 
4.
Sonata a quattro no 4 in B flat major by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Chi-Chi Nwanoku (Double Bass), Richard Tunnicliffe (Cello), Marshall Marcus (Violin),
Elizabeth Wallfisch (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1804; Italy 
5.
Sonata a quattro no 5 in E flat major by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Elizabeth Wallfisch (Violin), Marshall Marcus (Violin), Chi-Chi Nwanoku (Double Bass),
Richard Tunnicliffe (Cello)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1804; Italy 
6.
Sonata a quattro no 6 in D major by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Marshall Marcus (Violin), Richard Tunnicliffe (Cello), Elizabeth Wallfisch (Violin),
Chi-Chi Nwanoku (Double Bass)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1804; Italy 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 This is a Rossini I haven't heard! May 5, 2012 By Jerry G.  (Edgewater, CO) See All My Reviews "I have several string quartets by different composers. Most are very good, but sometimes tend to sound the same. This CD is very good. It is light and refreshing, and all six sonatas don't sound alike. The addition of the double bass is also rare and very pleasant listening. I give this a thumbs up, and recommend it to everyone." Report Abuse
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